The Prepper Journal http://www.theprepperjournal.com Prepping, Survival and Common Sense Sun, 31 Aug 2014 20:54:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Bartering With Your Soulhttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/30/bartering-soul/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/30/bartering-soul/#comments Sat, 30 Aug 2014 21:52:16 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11063 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Bartering is the simple act of exchanging goods or services for other goods or services and it is how people have conducted trade since the beginning of time. Before there was money or even during times of a formal and regulated monetary unit, people have bartered with each other. When you have a bunch of […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Bartering is the simple act of exchanging goods or services for other goods or services and it is how people have conducted trade since the beginning of time. Before there was money or even during times of a formal and regulated monetary unit, people have bartered with each other. When you have a bunch of chickens that produce more eggs than you can eat, you can trade your extra eggs for cloth to make new clothes, new shoes for your horses or in exchange for someone doing odd jobs around your home. Your chicken’s eggs or your cow’s milk, maybe a couple of rabbits or even something like a meal can have value to someone else. If the person you are bartering with agrees that what you have is fair value for what they are willing to give you then everything works out great.

Bartering is how almost everyone envisions we will acquire what we don’t have if the grid goes down. If we have some form of economic collapse where money is worthless or some catastrophe makes the use of our fiat money and banking transactions impossible, bartering is what we will all revert to. At least that is what everyone in the prepper community believes. I can see the usefulness and feasibility of barter too, but I think several conditions will have to be met first. There are also cases where initially bartering could be very dangerous so you would have to be cautious especially in a SHTF world, but you would also have to have the right environment for bartering in any form other than person to person.

More than one survival fiction book has a forum for barter in which many people come together at a predetermined location and time to bring everything they have to trade. The stories present a barter marketplace that reminds me of a flea market on the weekends where people set up everything they have and others peruse their offerings. If something is of value, and a good trade can be made, the transaction is sealed and we have bartering nirvana. I agree that something like this could happen, but I think it would take much longer than most people want to believe before anything resembling this could happen. It could have everything to do with the disaster that wiped out our ability to head to the local mall.

Let’s envision that there has been a terrorist strike on the United States. This terror attack was unleashed in two ways. The first was a cyber-attack on our economic infrastructure. A hostile state was able to hack their way into our financial computers and essentially cause a market crash. People for weeks are without any money and general pandemonium is starting to occur on varying levels around our country. After two weeks of this, our country is hit with several high altitude EMP devices so 75% percent of our electrical infrastructure has been wiped out. The lights go off and they don’t come back on. I think if these two events happened, you could say we would be looking at a SHTF event that would not be quickly solved. FEMA would not be bringing around blankets, those white tents and warm food for everyone. If our government was still in place, they would be hunkered underground trying to get control of the chaos that would quickly descend on our country.

If an event like this happened, I don’t believe that everyone would gather in their cul-de-sacs one evening and start talking about how they should hold a market. I firmly believe that in a SHTF world like this you would have wide spread lawlessness, violence, destruction, mayhem and death. I have documented why I believe this in a few other articles, but the point is, in a world like this, you are going to have to go through chaos before things settled down long enough to quietly gather with peaceful people and start trading all those supplies you have stored away for just this bartering opportunity.

Everything depends on the disaster700_ikdmaruomv8kopqiuidwwjn3wsj9n7ru we go through obviously. I guess if we didn’t have something this serious it would be different. OK, so we don’t have an EMP, but we have a depression brought on by an economic collapse or even just a slide into a hyper inflationary period that robs every one of their jobs, money and the ability to purchase anything anymore. Do you think the results would be less dire? Can you imagine a whole country out of work, poor, hungry and bored? I still see the same potential for violence and mayhem which would bring on still more problems. Just look at the most recent example of Ferguson which brought us riots that very nearly descended into martial law over the death of one man. Can you imagine when millions of people are going hungry?

What if you don’t have anything to barter?

The point I am trying to make is that I believe if we ever got to a place where we would all gather with our eggs and stand around and view the offerings of our neighbors, we will have lived through so much chaos that none of the bartering supplies you have stored will matter, unless you are rich and have warehoused tons of equipment and supplies. How long do you expect the violence and chaos to reign before anything resembling an orderly place for commerce would be possible? One year? 6 months? Two years?

During that time, my fear is that people will still need to acquire food. People will want to have protection, bullets, guns, shelter, and medicine. What if you are 6 months after the collapse and you don’t have anything to barter? What if you are a female whose husband was shot during a drunken argument with the neighbor? What if you are the teenage daughter who was hiding in the woods when a group of 6 men smashed in the doors of your parents’ home, killed them both and took all the food you had?

One of our readers, Matt wrote an article on our site where he discussed the value that people bring to a survival group. His article was very thought provoking to me and highlighted just one example of women trading comforts maybe even their souls for security. He used this in the larger context of contributing to a survival group in that these women would be the “baby-makers”. The impression could have been that they would have simply hooked up with someone who could take care of them or genuinely they would be marrying material to produce and raise children, but I started thinking about this in a slightly different but related context.

I was watching the movie Noah a few weeks back and there was a scene in the movie depicting a swarm of people trading their children for food. I’ll just leave it at that. It made me think that as a society, we have degraded the meaning and importance of life so much that something along these lines could be just as possible in a SHTF future as trading for packages of wheat and rice. When you have nothing to trade and you are desperate enough, if life is so bleak what will people be doing? This image of people trading their children for meat made me think of bartering in a grid down scenario if it got bad enough. It could be that like Matt wrote, women would be selling themselves either by the hour or permanently because they have nothing else to offer. It could be that people, viewing their children as burdens could want to trade their offspring for something of value. Could the bartering that actually comes to pass be more like the slavery markets than the flea market? Could we see people willingly selling their children for food?

New Bethany School For GirlsWe would never devolve to this level you say or if that is what happened I wouldn’t want to live a life like that. I know exactly what you mean, but think about it this way. If you don’t have anything to trade, what do you barter with? If you don’t have any of the millions of things people list as good bartering supplies, how do you get what you need? I guess I can be accused of painting a picture of the future that is too dark and bleak, but I think there is a small chance that something like this is possible, maybe not in your town, but in some places. When people are lost, beyond hope and dying – if the right opportunity comes across we could easily see people selling themselves just to have a chance to live. Don’t believe that we do not value life anymore? Just look at the sheer numbers of abortions there are each year. This fact alone shows that some people value their lives more than their unborn children. Is it so hard to believe that people would sell themselves for a shot of safety, some food and shelter or that they would sell their children in the right circumstances?

It could be that bartering wouldn’t be for toothpaste or clothes that you have stored away or candles you made from your beeswax as most people will either not have anything to barter with you for these items, or won’t care for what you are bartering. By the time people come out into the light of day, they may be just looking for any way out of the misery they are in, but they will have nothing to trade for.

I can see large groups forming not because they have been organically increased as part of a friendship that has grown through the years, but through acquisition. If you have a stable homestead with plenty of defenders you may not need anything that some traveler who is lost and hungry can tempt you with. They can however become a body strengthening your group. It could be that you let a man into your retreat, but he would be like an indentured servant working for their keep – forever. Will they have the ability to leave? It could be that a group lets several women in for the express purposes of using them for their work or their bodies and I think people will do this eventually. It is in this way larger groups will form and territories will increase.

Again, this is with the right type of disaster and not just a winter storm. I may be wrong, but I think it’s a possibility that life, if that is all you have to give will be given freely for the comforts of safety and food.  How you can you prevent this from happening to you? A lot of it may just be the hands of providence. Taking steps to prepare could insulate you initially and it is what I recommend for everyone. The more you can rely on yourself, the less you will be dependent on others and it could mean the difference between bartering with goods you have and bartering with your soul.

 

 

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Defensive Tactics When Under Firehttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/29/defensive-tactics-fire/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/29/defensive-tactics-fire/#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 20:03:25 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11046 Written by Richard Bryant on The Prepper Journal.

Introduction DISCLAIMER: This article in intended to provide basic information regarding defensive tactics to preppers who are new to the subject. Those with a military background or other advanced knowledge in tactical maneuvers are referred to more advanced treatments of the subject, such as the excellent book ‘Contact! A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse’ by […]

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Written by Richard Bryant on The Prepper Journal.

Introduction

DISCLAIMER: This article in intended to provide basic information regarding defensive tactics to preppers who are new to the subject. Those with a military background or other advanced knowledge in tactical maneuvers are referred to more advanced treatments of the subject, such as the excellent book Contact! A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse by Max Velocity.

The tactics discussed here are purely from the perspective of group and community defense, and are limited to tactics that would apply to active-defense situations.

Tactics are defined as “the art of disposing armed forces in order of battle and of organizing operations, especially during contact with an enemy”. While authoring my preparedness book (“When There is No FEMA“) I covered the topic of using classic military tactics in post-SHTF situations. This was a natural extension of the treatment I had already given to guns and ammunition. (After all, what good is having a gun for defense if you don’t know how to apply it effectively?)

Recently, while viewing the excellent movie Lone Survivor, I came to realize exactly how important and pertinent the topic of defensive tactics is to the prepper/survivalist. As I watched the portrayal of those special forces soldiers being pursued by the Taliban across the rough, forested hills of Afghanistan I could not help but relate those scenes to the tactics I had covered in my book.

That realization of the importance of defensive tactics was further reinforced by recent social unrest in and around Ferguson, Missouri. From the news coverage of happenings there we have observed groups of loosely organized looters literally shooting their way into buildings. If and when a large-scale disaster strikes on a national level, and when pure hunger is the motivator, it is logical to infer that such violence will be acted out with much greater intensity, and almost certainly with less intervention by law enforcement.

SIDE NOTE: Many years ago I had a roommate who had dedicated his life to the pursuit of martial arts. One piece of advice he gave me that I have never forgotten was that one should always be imagining potential threats and vulnerabilities such that, when an attack materialized, one would be preconditioned to react instantly.   Needless to say, this bit of wisdom applies as much to group defensive tactics as it does to hand-to-hand combat.

The corollary to this advice is that a survival group should conduct regular drills and have regularly scheduled training sessions.

Terminology

Effective communications is essential to being able successfully carry out tactics, and communications benefits greatly from adopting a common vocabulary. The following are some common terms related defensive tactics:

  • Avenue of Approach – the path that an adversary is likely to take when approaching.
  • Field of View – a geographic zone that can be monitored through direct observation from a particular location.
  • Field of Fire – a geographic zone that can be protected by gunfire from a particular location.
  • Flank – a military formation’s undefended side.
  • Hard Cover – a location that provides both concealment and protection from weapons fire.
  • Soft Cover – a location that provides concealment only.
  • Suppressing Fire – weapons fire used to prevent the enemy from firing.
  • Kill Zone (“KZ”) – a geographic zone that has been selected to engage an approaching enemy for maximum effect.
  • Safe Zone – a location that has been specially hardened to withstand direct attack. Children and other non-combatants should generally retreat to a safe zone in the event of an attack.
  • Counter-Assault – an attack that is launched in response to an enemy attack.

 

Basic Tactics

Basic tactics tend to be quite simple and well known, and often involve defending from fixed locations.

They may also be combined and incorporated into more complex tactics. Basic tactics include:

  • Ambush – Concealing one’s forces and laying in wait along the anticipated avenue of approach to attack the enemy when they enter a predefined kill zone.
  • Crossfire – Firing on an enemy from two or more locations such that it is difficult or impossible for them to find cover (note that, as an example of combining tactics, an ambush may be designed to incorporate crossfire).
  • Charge – A frontal assault carried out with such speed that the adversary is (hopefully) overwhelmed before being able to mount an effective defense or counter-assault.
  • Flanking – Attacking an enemy on their undefended (or less well defended) side.
  • Hit and Run – Launching a surprise attack on a (possibly larger) opponent and quickly retreating before the advantage of surprise is lost.
  • Advance and Retreat

Knowledge of the defense-related terms defined above, as well as the basic tactics described here, should be covered by any survival group’s defensive training. By the time the group comes under any sort of attack these terms and concepts should be firmly fixed in everyone’s mind.

In addition to developing good knowledge of tactics, knowledge of the local terrain and the best possible level of physical fitness are critical. Physical strength will be necessary to carry out the tactics described here, and good tactics always required a knowledge of the local terrain (NOTE: If at all possible obtain and study topographical maps of any areas you may be defending).

 

Best Practices

Force Dispersal

In the case of two sides engaged in a gun battle, with each side finding hard cover in a single location, it’s easy to imagine that a dangerous stalemate condition might develop in which each side has the other pinned down and unable to move. However, if one side in that same conflict were to be able to fire from multiple locations – catching the enemy in a crossfire – then unless the enemy was in a position that provided complete protection from all angles the battle would soon be over.

The practice of ‘fanning out’ before engaging an enemy carries with it some significant defensive advantages as well. The loss of a single position (or the compromise of its cover) will not expose the entire group to direct fire. In fact, the availability of other team members to provide suppressing fire greatly increases the chances of survival for those team members who had been compromised.

The practice of trying to ‘fan out’ prior to engaging an enemy in a gun battle should be virtually built into the DNA of all defenders, and this practice should be reinforced continuously with drills and training before it is ever put to the test in the real world.

 

Topographic maps can be easily purchased for your entire city.

Topographic maps can be easily purchased for your entire city.

Positioning Along a Diagonal Line

It has been common throughout history, and across all branches of service, to deploy equipment and troops along a line that is diagonal to the enemy’s line of attack. This orientation, known as the ‘echelon defense’, carries the advantage that it provides the defenders with a wider field of fire while also largely denying the enemy a flank to attack. When engaged in a firefight it is not always possible to select specific positions due to the constraints of terrain and the availability of cover, hence this deployment may not be possible. However in some cases this may be possible (e.g. when using trees in a densely wooded area for cover).

When defensive fortifications are being constructed around a fixed location it may be possible to anticipate an enemy’s avenue of approach and construct those defenses along a diagonal to that path.

 

Advanced Tactics and Defensive Principles

The Flying Wedge

The ‘Flying Wedge’ formation is a V-shaped formation that is basically two diagonal Echelon formations that converge. Like the Echelon, it does not present a readily accessible flank while at the same time providing the widest field of fire. This V-shape also provides a ‘spear head’ that can be used to punch through an enemy’s front line. The flying wedge would typically be employed in in a situation in which there is reason to believe the enemy forces could attack either flank.

Leapfrogging

‘Leapfrogging’ is a tactic that involves two or more defenders (or groups of defenders) alternatively advancing and retreating in steps while the other defenders provide suppressing fire. Military trainers often advise those advancing or retreating to say to themselves … “I’m up, he sees me, I’m down” … when in motion to help provide the assurance that they are not exposed long enough to come under fire. The risks associated with leapfrogging can be substantially reduced if one defensive position can serve as ‘overwatch’ and provide continuous suppressing fire.

The principle of leapfrogging applies to more than close quarters fighting. Two snipers, for example, could provide covering fire for one another over a larger geographic area.

Hills, the Defender’s Best Friend!

Use of terrain features has figured decisively into battles throughout history, and hills have proven to be particularly advantageous. In fact, the ‘reverse slope defense’ was employed quite effectively by the Duke of Wellington in 1815 during the Battle of Waterloo in his defeat of Napolean Bonaparte’s army. This simple-but-effective tactic involves the defender simply traversing a hill and then lying in wait on the opposite side for the pursuing enemy forces to crest the hill. The defenders will have taken cover or simply laid down on the ground to conserve energy, steady their aim, and present a more difficult target; while the enemy is more fatigued and silhouetted against the skyline.

This tactic is so well-proven that it merits additional discussion. An experienced adversary (particularly one with military experience) may recognize the potential danger involved in pursuing over a hill. If so then they will hesitate. If fighting in terrain that offers a succession of hills it may be wise to lay in wait behind a second hill, and observe the enemy’s behavior in traversing the first. This will provide some insight into the opponent’s own level of tactical sophistication.

When taking cover to lay in wait behind a hill, the defender’s forces should seek to fan out, as described previously, such that an approaching enemy will be caught in a crossfire.

SIDENOTE: It should be pointed out that the reverse slope defense becomes much less useful for those who are facing an enemy who has airpower.   Not only can aircraft launch attacks against the defender, but they can also communicate the defender’s position and defensive posture to any oncoming ground forces. Regardless of this, as was realistically portrayed in “Lone Survivor”, those aircraft are not always available, and they must eventually disengage to refuel. Also, if your opponent happens to be the stereotypical group of “mutant zombie bikers” they probably do not have airpower. Hence the tactic that worked so well against Napoleon may very well also be employed effectively on the modern post-SHTF battlefield.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: If I could recommend any one defensive tactic to be considered above all others it would be the reverse slope defense. Not only has it proven itself repeatedly in real battle situations, but it can also be quickly executed with minimal training.

Flanking

The ‘flanking maneuver’ is a battlefield maneuver that is as old as recorded history. It involves engaging an enemy directly while also attacking them (preferably by surprise) on one or both sides of their front line. This can be a highly effective technique because:

  • When firing at an attacker to the side the enemy puts their own personnel into the field of fire.
  • The attack from both the front and one or more sides essentially constitutes a large-scale crossfire.
  • Enemy soldiers that are constantly watching over their shoulders for threats coming from multiple directions become quickly demoralized.
  • A flanking maneuver from both sides becomes a partial encirclement.

 

Defensive Tactics mean the difference between life and death in battle.

Defensive Tactics mean the difference between life and death in battle.

Flanking maneuvers are often attempted by mechanized or mounted forces, as their increased mobility helps to assure success. Nevertheless, flanking remains a very legitimate tactic for those engaged in close-quarters fighting on foot.

The best way to flank an enemy is to anticipate their avenue of approach and to have the forces attacking the flank stay concealed until the time comes to attack. In this way the enemy does not have the opportunity to observe the troops positioning themselves.

Defenses against a flanking attack include controlled retreat, which can pull the flanking forces back towards the front line; starting a new line of defense that faces the attackers on the flank, or deploying in a circular formation so that there is no flank to attack.

Encirclement

Encirclement consists of completely surrounding an enemy force and attacking them from all directions simultaneously. This tactic is much like flanking, and offers similar advantages; however it also has a serious drawback. If an enemy is surrounded and has no line of retreat then that realization can galvanize them to fight with much greater ferocity.

SIDE NOTE: The ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu, in his renowned book The Art of War, describes an encirclement scenario as being ”desperate ground”. Because those on desperate ground are presented with no option but to fight to the death, he recognized the danger of engaging such an enemy. Sun Tzu’s recommendation was to always leave an enemy with a path to retreat, and to attack them during the retreat.

Hammer & Anvil

The Hammer & Anvil tactic is much like the flanking maneuver, except that rather than having the secondary force attack the flank (the side), it attacks the enemy from the rear. The name of this tactic originates from the fact that enemy is caught between the hammer (the force attacking from the rear) and the anvil (the front line fighters). Like the flanking maneuver, the Hammer & Anvil maneuver benefits greatly from the secondary force being highly mobile.

A variation of the Hammer & Anvil consists of the rear forces executing a series of hit-and-run attacks rather than fully engaging in battle.

 

The Hedgehog Defense – Drawing Fire and Thinning Enemy Ranks

The hedgehog defense was originally conceived as a tactic for armored warfare; however the basic principle can be applied to small arms combat as well. This tactic involves placing a strongly fortified and well-supplied defensive location along an enemy’s avenue of approach such that the enemy may commit some of their forces to attacking that position while their main forces continue to advance. This has the effect of thinning the enemy’s ranks prior to a major engagement. Once the enemy’s main forces have been defeated the defender can return to the fortified location to attack the enemy forces remaining there (in this case the returning friendly forces would constitute a hammer and the fortified location would constitute an anvil).

Ideally the hedgehog defense would incorporate a number of fortified locations along the enemy’s avenue of approach in order to successively thin their ranks.

The hedgehog defense should only be considered if some aspect of the situation really lends itself to the tactic (for example, if a fortified position already exists along the avenue of approach). The weakness of this tactic is that the enemy may choose to simply ignore the fortified location and continue advancing in full force (which is exactly what happened when Hitler’s blitzkrieg attack bypassed France’s Maginot Line during World War II).

Conclusion

Having access to weapons and ammunition is simply not sufficient for the defense of any individual or group hoping to survive a major, long-term disaster. Good equipment is part of a solid foundation for defense, however dealing with adversaries having superior numbers, equipment or any sort of organization requires training and tactics. Paradoxically, the better prepared a group is to defend itself, the less likely it is that it will find itself in danger. However, when the need to act does become inevitable, a good command of defensive tactics will make all the difference.

 
About the Author:

Richard Bryant is author of the preparedness book ‘When There is No FEMA – Survival for Normal People in (Very) Abnormal Times’ and a long-time preparedness group organizer in Central Florida. He has recently relocated permanently to his disaster retreat in rural West Tennessee. The first 60 pages of his book are available for review and download at http://www.nofema.com.

 

 

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Is it Crazy to Worry About the Golden Horde?http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/28/crazy-worry-golden-horde/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/28/crazy-worry-golden-horde/#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 22:42:42 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11033 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

For years, I have listened to people in prepping circles talk about “The Golden Horde”. What is that you ask? Well, the golden horde is a concept that as far as I can tell was introduced by James Wesley Rawles. I like Mr. Rawles – have several of his books in my prepper library and […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

For years, I have listened to people in prepping circles talk about “The Golden Horde”. What is that you ask? Well, the golden horde is a concept that as far as I can tell was introduced by James Wesley Rawles. I like Mr. Rawles – have several of his books in my prepper library and I have been going to his website for years. Mr. Rawles is the writer of several prepper fiction novels (Patriots, Survivors), and probably the first survival book I ever read How to Survive the End of the World As We Know it . He is also the owner of the popular survivalblog.com website. Mr. Rawles’ golden horde concept roughly says that if we have a TEOTWAKI type of event, the major population centers will soon see a mass exodus of people out of the cities and into the surrounding countryside because the cities will be unlivable. The thinking will be to head to the countryside where there is more room, less violence, more food and a safer existence than in the cities.

The historical Golden Horde was a Mongol tribe back in the 13th century, but for the sake of Prepping and how the modern interpretation of this concept could apply to you, I will use Mr. Rawles’ own words in describing what he meant by this concept:

Here is a mental exercise: Put yourself in the mind set of Mr. Joe Sixpack, Suburbanite. (Visualize him in or near a big city near where you live.) He is unprepared. He has less than one week’s food on hand, he has a 12 gauge pump action shotgun that he hasn’t fired in years, and just half a tank of gas in his minivan and maybe a gallon or two in a can that he keeps on hand for his lawn mower. Then TEOTWAWKI hits. The power grid is down, his job is history, the toilet doesn’t flush, and water no longer magically comes cascading from the tap. There are riots beginning in his city. The local service stations have run out of gas. The banks have closed. Now he is suddenly desperate. Where will he go? What will he do?

Odds are, Joe will think: “I’ve gotta go find a vacation cabin somewhere, up in the mountains, where some rich dude only goes a few weeks out of each year.” So vacation destinations like Lake Tahoe, Lake Arrowhead, and Squaw Valley, California; Prescott and Sedona, Arizona; Hot Springs, Arkansas; Vail and Steamboat Springs, Colorado; and the other various rural ski, spa, Great Lakes, and coastal resort areas will get swarmed. Or, he will think: “I’ve got to go to where they grow food.” So places like the Imperial Valley, the Willamette Valley, and the Red River Valley will similarly get overrun. There will be so many desperate Joe Sixpacks arriving all at once that these areas will degenerate into free-fire zones. It will be an intensely ugly situation and will not be safe for anyone. In some places the locals may be so vastly outnumbered that they won’t survive. But some of the Joe Sixpacks will survive, and then the more ruthless among them will begin to fight amongst themselves for the few remaining resources. They will form ad hoc gangs of perhaps 6 to 30 people.

Now, with that context I will try to give my perspective on this question because I have heard a few of my fellow bloggers, some with no more expertise in this topic than Mr. Rawles or anyone else for that matter, give their opinion that is it foolish to think that the cities will disgorge themselves of people in a TEOTWAWKI event. They argue that people will sit and wait and never leave major metropolitan areas for all number of reasons. They say it could be they are too used to being catered to and will just sit waiting for handouts to come from the government. Others say that the roads will be blocked so there is no way to leave. Not wanting to be left out on the fun, I’ll give my own unlearned opinion below.

What is the Event we are talking about here?

As with all things in life, the situation you are actually faced with will determine the available choices you have or more appropriately, what choices you are forced to make. To say this entire concept is without merit is foolish I think and it shows a lack of imagination to say that this could never happen. I can easily see situations that would force people to leave their homes or cities and if you only have one potential disaster in mind you aren’t seeing the big picture. Everything depends on the disaster as I have said before so while one event might not cause any disruption at all, another could change the world. People are fleeing all the time so this isn’t some bizarre concept that lives solely in the realm of prepper fantasy.

YazidisFleeingAugust112014ReutersViaTimeMagIn Mr. Rawles’ mental exercise he was using a power outage. What caused this power outage? We don’t know but it has been long enough that for Joe, “his job is history, the toilet doesn’t flush, and water no longer magically comes cascading from the tap.” We have to assume the power has been out for a long time or the outage was extremely severe and the Just In Time inventory has been depleted. Utilities are out so a major city would get ugly fast. Have you ever seen a sanitation strike in New York? He goes on to say “there are riots beginning in his city. The local service stations have run out of gas. The banks have closed.”. Now, imagine this Joe Sixpack is living in a major city when this happens like New York or Los Angeles.

Do you really think there won’t be people leaving if these things were happening? Do you honestly believe in a city of over 8 million people that nobody is going to leave that type of disaster? Even if we are only talking about 10% of the entire population that decides based upon the information they have (maybe we were attacked by terrorists with an EMP) that they need to get out of the city no matter what, you are still talking about 800,000 people. That’s only 10% of one city!

Let’s go ahead and continue with the theory that this is New York. We have to assume from Mr. Rawles’ mental exercise that since he said that this is TEOTWAWKI,  that the same thing has happened across the country. This isn’t a small power outage caused by a storm that brings the power back in a few days. Now take the 10% from all the towns around New York and New Jersey and add those together. Can you begin to see how an event like this could trigger a “horde” of people moving into the countryside to escape the riots and lawlessness?

Where you live matters

In real estate, you know the phrase… Location, location, location. Where you live matters just as much as the event that causes the crisis or the crisis itself. If you live in the backwoods of Tennessee, you probably don’t have to worry about hundreds of thousands of people making their way out of the city, but what if Memphis and Knoxville were looking for a place to go?

Back in 2013, the Business Insider showed a map of the most populated counties in the United States. They used the census data to determine that over 50% of the population of our country lives in just 146 of the over 3000 nationwide counties. Do you live near one of these?

 

Half Of The United States Lives In These Counties

Half Of The United States Lives In These Counties

It is my belief that with the right disaster, the Golden Horde concept is very likely. I can easily see having to worry about people fleeing major cities if you live near some big metropolis. Now if you are out in the middle of East Jesus, then you probably don’t have to worry about it as much, if at all. However, that doesn’t mean it is crazy for anyone to worry about the golden horde. It might be crazier to think you know everything and everyone else is wrong. It is wise to research it though and find out for yourself if maybe there is something you need to plan for. Where do you live? Is there a big blue spot near your home?

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Do You Shoot: What if Your Imaginary Bad Guy isn’t Who Shows Up?http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/27/do-you-shoot-imaginary-bad-guy-isnt-shows/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/27/do-you-shoot-imaginary-bad-guy-isnt-shows/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 19:35:45 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=11010 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

I have heard it stated somewhere “intent plus capability equals threat”. I believe it is an old formula used by people smarter than me when they are planning how to distribute defensive resources. I actually heard that phrase again recently while listening to the radio and it caused me to consider this formula as a […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

I have heard it stated somewhere “intent plus capability equals threat”. I believe it is an old formula used by people smarter than me when they are planning how to distribute defensive resources. I actually heard that phrase again recently while listening to the radio and it caused me to consider this formula as a basis for planning your response to different potential threats.

As a prepper, I believe it is vital to have a plan for security.  The world can be an ugly place in times of crisis and depending on the situation, once reasonable, kind and rational people can become killers. Even if they don’t become killers, you could face a threat from incredibly desperate people who while not wanting to hurt you would do anything to protect or provide for their own loved ones. It is times like this that you could have to depend on a firearm to save your life.

On the Prepper Journal I advocate that everyone become prepared to handle the disruptions in life that we see every day on the news. There are earthquakes that disrupt entire communities, hurricanes that destroy the homes of thousands, tsunamis that impact entire regions, nuclear meltdowns that threaten everyone, virus outbreaks that are flown around the globe, chemical spills that poison the water and on and on. These are normal events that happen in our lives. These aren’t crazy conspiracy theories, they are real and my mission has been to wake people up to the potential for events like this coming to your town. Because if you take some simple steps now you can begin to prepare for these “disruptions” in your life. With planning you can become more self-reliant in the face of disaster.

There are some threats though that can’t be avoided by having a good food storage plan. There are some troubles you could face that aren’t washed away with gallons of stored water. Sometimes, you can’t plan for all contingencies or you may be faced with something you haven’t considered before. I believe that there are levels that we need to prepare for and obviously how affected we are by the disasters makes all the difference in the world. It doesn’t matter initially if your town experienced an earthquake if your home, neighborhood and family are fine. If the stores down the street are still working as normal, your preps aren’t going to be needed as much as in other situations. Like I said last week, everything depends on the disaster.

But as I frequently do, lets take a hypothetical disaster for the purposes of discussion. We have used the threat of EMP too much lately so I will use something like an Ebola pandemic. The scenario is an Ebola pandemic has ravaged the country and decimated 50% of the population. Everyone has been ordered into their homes for over two months now and you are still holding out. Your supplies have dwindled but your family is healthy and you can last a few more months. The power is intermittent due to personnel shortages, many have died, so you do face some days without power. The water is still on, but rumors are spreading that it isn’t safe to drink.

OK, so that is our hypothetical and during an event like that I could easily see many situations where your security could be threatened. I say all of this as an introduction to a question a reader sent me a couple of weeks back.

A reader of the Prepper Journal; Jeremy sent me the following:

In reading the book Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected (One I would recommend HIGHLY as a preparation for the realities of everyday life, let alone for what people very well could and would be like following a major disaster/period of civil decay) the author is speaking about determining our capacity for dealing with violence and, in turn, inflicting violence on others to protect ourselves/the ones we love. He speaks of determining, ahead of time, your capability vs. your capacity. The example he uses is that of a person coming at you with a butcher’s knife. They have the intent, means and opportunity to kill you. You have nowhere to retreat, but are armed. This is a shoot/no shoot scenario. The question is do you shoot? Are you OK with shooting the person and killing them?

I have not read this book but the question he posed was interesting. Judging by the question so far, it seems pretty simple doesn’t it? It may not be that cut and dry for everyone, but I would like to think I would be able to pull the trigger to defend my life or the lives of people I love. The person coming at me would be a threat because they would be walking towards me (intent) and they would be holding a butcher knife (capacity) regardless of the specifics of castle doctrine or duty to retreat (he says you have nowhere to retreat) I would feel justified in shooting the person who I viewed in this example as a threat to my life.

But I am no lawyer. I have also never shot and killed anyone so take what I say I would do with a grain of salt.

Then he says the following -

“Now change an element. The Threat is twelve years old. Do you still shoot? Kill? Are you okay with that? If the Threat were six years old? Four? A woman? A pregnant woman? A mentally disabled person who can’t realize what they are doing? Your own spouse? Your own child? What if the Threat’s toddler children are watching? What if cameras are rolling? The threat is the same—even a four-year-old with a big knife can kill and there are no degrees of dead. Do you feel the same about all of those scenarios? I don’t. Even knowing full well how dangerous a knife is and how many people die from overconfidence I would have a hard time shooting a child. I might feel differently about the other scenarios but would act the same—I would just feel worse about it later. Think about this. Explore it. Listen to your gut feelings before you try to logic it out. When you do try to logic it out, pay special attention to when you are rationalizing—when your logic is serving not to make the best decision but to justify the decision that your gut wants.”

 Miller, Rory (2011-04-01). Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected (Kindle Locations 339-352). YMAA Publication Center. Kindle Edition.

Now, that is an interesting turn of events or elements as the writer states. Have you thought about what you would do? Would you be willing to shoot someone? If the answer is yes to that question I think the writer’s larger point may be that you probably have a vision of who this hypothetical bad guy is. I know I did. In my mind the threat was a menacing looking man in my home and my children and wife were behind me. I can see the knife in his hand right now and can feel my firearm in mine. I don’t have much hesitation when the question becomes do you shoot. In my mind that is.

But, the author does give us a challenge and the first is to change the element to a child. Being the father of children I have to give this one a little extra consideration. Then he says “what if the child is four”. I know I could disarm a four-year old. I could disarm a 6 or 12-year-old while we are at it so I don’t think I would view a child, under some reasonable age as a threat if they were holding a big knife. Is there a chance I would be cut, most likely if I didn’t do something right, but I still wouldn’t shoot someone who I feel I could overpower. In this case I discount that one aspect of the hypothetical, but the overall message is still one that is compelling to consider.

What if the bad guy isn’t your imaginary bad guy?

What if this person were your neighbor who was retired and had always been the best neighbor in the world to you? What if this was his wife? What if it was another neighbor’s child? In this case, not 4 or 6 but 18? Would you shoot him or her? What if it was a pregnant woman? What if it was someone you worked with who knew about your preps because you didn’t practice good OPSEC and had come to your home because her husband was sick and starving to death? What if she was holding a gun and her daughter was right beside her? Would you shoot first or let her shoot you?

I know most of the arguments for charity and setting aside food to give away and all of the rational approaches to dealing with family members before SHTF. I don’t have the answers to all my hypothetical scenarios, but I do think the exercise of thinking about this ahead of time is valid. It may be that none of us can even think about what we would do in a situation like that. Honestly I don’t know what I would do and I can’t even tell you how I would deal with that scenario. Maybe I would freeze?

We deal with topics of security all the time and there are simple baselines I believe in like having the ability, the training and the resolve to defend your home. Admittedly this defense is always from my imaginary bad guy, but reality always gets a vote. Thinking about these unthinkable scenarios could give you some ideas with respect to how you are prepping. If nothing else, it might change how you view security and what you are willing to do.

Have you thought about this before? Would you be willing to shoot?

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Food Storage Calculator Spreadsheet – Free Downloadhttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/26/food-storage-calculator-spreadsheet-free-download/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/26/food-storage-calculator-spreadsheet-free-download/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 20:26:45 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=10997 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

If you have been interested in Prepping for more than two minutes, you have heard that you need to have a plan for food storage in case of disaster. Food is one of the most important items preppers can obtain that will keep them alive but so many people do not have more than a […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

If you have been interested in Prepping for more than two minutes, you have heard that you need to have a plan for food storage in case of disaster. Food is one of the most important items preppers can obtain that will keep them alive but so many people do not have more than a few days of food in their pantries at home. We shop for food often and buying extra food isn’t viewed as odd or deviant (yet?) like some prepper purchases but for one reason or another most people only keep the basics on hand and believe that if needed they will just run to the grocery store to pick up last minute items. Unfortunately, you have all seen photos of shelves stripped bare at the first mention of an approaching storm. What if your city was impacted by the recent earthquake? This one was relatively minor, but if there had been more damage, would you have enough food to last until service was restored and the grocery store replenished? What if there was an Ebola outbreak and you were forced to stay in your home for a month. Would you have enough food to last or would you travel out possibly risking exposure?

Ensuring you have a food storage plan is one way to prevent your family from being the ones running down the grocery store isles searching for anything still left. Actually, when we have inclement weather it never fails that my wife will ask me to stop by the store on my way home. It isn’t that we need any food because we have stocked up plenty to last several months at a minimum. No, she wants me to get single items for a recipe or one ingredient that she might need in a few days. I swear it’s just to hear me complain about the lines in the stores of all the panicked people looking to stock up before whatever event we have coming (usually a snow storm) hits us.

Free food storage calculator spreadsheet.

Click on the image of the spreadsheet to download.

You shouldn’t need to go to the store for last minute food items because you too should have several months of food that your family will eat stored already. A good food storage plan will help you figure out what you need and inventory those supplies. The first step is to understand what you need in terms of the specific foods and there are lots of websites with a food storage calculator out there that will help but you can’t really customize them. You are forced into taking their food recommendations. I have taken the liberty of creating my own food storage calculator spreadsheet for the readers of the prepper journal. The advantage of this one is that you can play around with the quantities and even add new items to your list and adjust the numbers of people and duration you want to have food stored for. The spreadsheet is open and free for you to use. If you don’t want to store Pearled Barley, just change the food storage spreadsheet to something you do like to eat. Want to keep track of your canned spaghetti sauce? Just add it to the sheet! The only requirement is that you need to be able to open and manipulate an Excel file.

All you have to do is to enter the number of people you are stocking up food for, then the number of months you want to have stored. It isn’t fancy, but it is a simple tool you can download and use to calculate your own food storage in your home. The spreadsheet will give you the average recommended quantities of food and you can add how much you have on-hand. Once that is done, the spreadsheet will let you know how much of any particular item you still need to purchase. You can use this to generate your shopping list and Boom! You will be on your way to securing your families food needs for the next disaster. You can download the free food storage calculator spreadsheet right here.

If this is helpful, we also have a free Ammo Inventory spreadsheet that you can download, add to this one and keep track of multiple supplies on one spreadsheet.

I hope this helps. If you see anything I missed or have questions/comments/recommendations please let me know.

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How to Deal with Diseases in Long Term Survival Situationshttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/25/deal-diseases-long-term-survival-situations/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/25/deal-diseases-long-term-survival-situations/#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 18:32:51 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=10980 Written by Selco on The Prepper Journal.

The following article comes to us from Selco of the SHTF School website. Selco is one of the rare voices in the preparedness community who has real-life experience surviving in a SHTF type of world. Selco is from the Balkan region of Southeastern Europe, and lived through the Balkan War when it came to his […]

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Written by Selco on The Prepper Journal.

The following article comes to us from Selco of the SHTF School website. Selco is one of the rare voices in the preparedness community who has real-life experience surviving in a SHTF type of world. Selco is from the Balkan region of Southeastern Europe, and lived through the Balkan War when it came to his neck of the woods from 1992 to 1995.  Selco survived in a city WITHOUT: electricity, fuel, running water, real food distribution, distribution of any goods, or any kind of organized law or government. Besides running his website; Selco produces an online course called One Year in Hell where he describes exactly what he went through and shares information on how you can survive if you are faced with the same situation.


There are great concerns about possible Ebola pandemic spreading outside Africa, media is bombarding us with this information. We also have ongoing discussion with interesting updates on our forum.

You can read all sorts of information online, like possible reasons for fast spreading in Africa including religious beliefs and rituals there where people handled bodies without proper knowledge, contributing to the fast spreading. They also say that lack of general knowledge about diseases, hygiene and eating bush meat along with lack of training of local medical professionals caused the mess. Interesting to read, no doubt.

They also say that there is no way of some doomsday scenario of sick person getting onto regular flight, contaminating everyone, because it spreads through body fluids only etc.

All good info, but somewhere at the end of article there is one sentence that goes like this: “… so there is clearly no reason for panic…”

As I said few times before, whenever someone from government, law enforcement, or similar says “no reason for panic” I get strong urge to buy more ammo (food, water, gas masks…).

OK, I’m a burned man and had bad experience from listening to similar statements, if you are member of my course you know what kind of messages we heard even in days before we were surrounded in the city with no way out.

Just use common sense here. Would media really ever say it is time to panic? It is time to prepare? No. This would cause chaos and some people would overreact. Not show up to work anymore, this could lead to collapse itself. People do not think for themselves anymore so media to certain degree has to always calm people down. It is how the system works.

Soldier during Balkan War.

Soldier during Balkan War.

Panic is bad in any case. Reading how scared some preppers are, some people seem to be in constant state or emergency. This makes no sense and just makes life miserable. We prepare for every possibility to not be in panic mode.

First be prepared, then do not panic. Of course stay alert and use common sense.

Ebola is scary, and it can become big problem for sure, but just like sharks kill just about 10 people every year and elephants kill 10 times more, it is often what we perceive as harmless that can cause biggest problems. Survival is a lot about seeing dangers where they are. In this sense you should make sure your bathroom is not slippery because many people die by slipping in shower. Today I write about the regular killers I experienced during my time in war.

Wound Infections

It does not have to be big wound to get you into the trouble. When SHTF small cut can kill (literally). In world where there is no proper medical care you need to be ready to deal with problems like this. During my SHTF time there were lots of troubles with wound infections. Everything from minor cuts to bullet wounds had chance to be infected.

We treated infected wounds with what we had, over time with less and less resources it mostly became simple water cleaning, and local mixtures of things for treating infections. Recipes were different, from pine pieces to onions on wounds and similar, and of course local alcohol beverages.

Sometimes we had antibiotics, mostly we did not. Results were very random. What worked for one guy sometimes did not work for someone else. Some people died, others became crippled.

For future SHTF scenarios I suggest to learn as much as you can about wound treatment.

  • How to clean and close wound and how to use antibiotics on proper way.
  • Remember that simply procedures like wound closing with steri strips can save you lot of troubles later, of course as more as you know (suturing, staples) it is better, and do not fall under the influence of movies, for example no, tourniquet is NOT always best choice for bleeding (mostly it is last), and simple covering of the wound with sterile 4×4 can do miracles later for preventing infections.
  • Store normal saline, iodine, peroxide and similar for wound treatment.
  • Learn how to do pain management, I did it many times with simple alcohol drink, it does not work well always. Again forget about movies.
  • Good advice to know how to use what you have, having needle and sutures without knowledge does not make too much sense.
  • Do not blindly follow advertisements about “miracle first aid kit for all SHTF troubles” you may end up with useless stuff in nice cammo bag. Like in all areas of life today, people try to also sell snake oil and miracle solutions in survival area. Knowledge is king.

Of course there is good stuff around to buy, but be sure to check what you get, good idea is to ask your friend who is in medical field what you actually gonna get in that kit, or even better to assemble your own. I have listed some suggestions what should be in every basic first aid kit here and Cajun who is medical professional like me lists his first aid kit from his bug out bag in our forum.

Injuries will be common with heavy destruction like war areas.

Injuries will be common with heavy destruction like war areas.

Food (and water) poisoning

You can be sure that sooner or later you will have to deal with this. It is not only dangerous to be crippled with diarrhea and vomiting because at the end it can kill you, but also it can make you so weak that you can not perform your duties. In SHTF that means that you are too weak to defend yourself, or to go out and gather resources and similar, and that is bad. Again, thats why groups are important and lone wolfs have odds against them.

I think that everyone was poisoned with bad food or water at least once during my SHTF time. We dealt with it with teas and simply trying to give the person more water than he is losing it. There were casualties of course, mostly very old or very young.

First line of defense would be hygiene. Be very serious with it when SHTF. Have plan how to keep yourself and your home (and food and water) clean when SHTF. It is much better to think more about preventing that stuff to happen by how you store your food and handle it instead of having great first aid kit to treat the problems.

Mistake that people often make in case of diarrhea and vomiting is that they try to consume too much water too fast and that causes more harm than good. Point is to consume fluids very slowly and in small amounts. For example one sip of fluids every 20 minutes or similar, take rest and be careful with water and food intake in next 24 hours.

Already sick people

I know many people think that when we experience breakdown of system and total collapse everything will be about adrenaline, fighting, chaos and blood.

This is part of it, but mostly, especially in first weeks people who lived with small conditions are going to experience them much worse. Think about what small problems you might have at the moment that can become huge if you have to live survival lifestyle with heavy physical work every day, maybe lack of sleep, extreme stress and less hygiene. Problems will be multiplied many times.

For example your uncle had high blood pressure for years, he is on pills, and his family tries to „force“ him to eat healthy, and it is working more or less, but every now and then he ends up in emergency room because his blood pressure goes dangerously up. When SHTF what is the plan to regulate his high BP, and for how long you have stash of pills for him? Or how he is gonna be able to eat healthy or similar when SHTF? From my experience in survival situations, these people are the first to go.

Solution could be to try to regulate his blood pressure today as good as you can, to have stashed good amount of medication for him, and of course to learn everything about alternative means of treating that condition (with herbs for example). Point is to do all this today, because when SHTF you may not have chance or enough time for that.

As heartless as it sounds but also think about what to do with people who are against prepping today and who you know will run into serious problems once normal system is not there to support them anymore. Who will be angry and cause problems in your group if you simply decide to leave that sick uncle to his fate? At some point you have to know when train is full and you are leaving and it makes sense to think about this before.

How do you prepare for diseases? Besides first aid kit(s), what plans do you have? Share in comments below or on our forum.

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The Benefits of Raised Garden Beds – Infographichttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/25/benefits-raised-garden-beds-infographic/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/25/benefits-raised-garden-beds-infographic/#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 13:22:33 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=10973 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Raised garden beds are one option for providing a source of fresh food to your family that are preferred by some people for a lot of very valid reasons. Some of the reasons raised beds are preferred are: Less weeds Better water retention in areas that have super-sandy soil Better drainage in areas with clay […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Raised garden beds are one option for providing a source of fresh food to your family that are preferred by some people for a lot of very valid reasons. Some of the reasons raised beds are preferred are:

  • Less weeds
  • Better water retention in areas that have super-sandy soil
  • Better drainage in areas with clay soils
  • More growing space
  • No soil compaction from human feet
  • Warmer soil earlier in the season
  • Warmer soil for a longer season
  • Soil that has basically a neutral pH unless you add something to change it (because you’re filling it)
  • Less soil erosion (especially, if the bed is framed)

I was contacted by Aldo Baker with Custom Made whose team created the raised bed info-graphic below. Its a great visual to give you some ideas on how to create your own raised beds for your garden.

Click to Enlarge Image

Build The Benefits of Raised Beds

Raised Garden Beds Infographic

Build The Benefits of Raised Beds
Infographic by CustomMade

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Permaculture Guilds and Growing a Camouflaged Food Foresthttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/23/permaculture-guilds-growing-camouflaged-food-forest/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/23/permaculture-guilds-growing-camouflaged-food-forest/#comments Sat, 23 Aug 2014 20:16:44 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=10960 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

If you watch Doomsday Preppers like me you probably saw this Thursdays episode that showcased two Preppers. The difference for me this week was that I have actually heard of two of the preppers on the show. Rick Austin is the author of the Secret Garden of Survival: How to Grow a Camouflaged Food Forest […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

If you watch Doomsday Preppers like me you probably saw this Thursdays episode that showcased two Preppers. The difference for me this week was that I have actually heard of two of the preppers on the show. Rick Austin is the author of the Secret Garden of Survival: How to Grow a Camouflaged Food Forest which is an excellent introduction and thought starter on the concepts of Permaculture guilds and how they can be incorporated into the Prepper garden plan. He frequently speaks at conferences and self-reliance expos. I reviewed his book on the Prepper Journal back in July of 2013. Along with Rick was his wife (and this was news to me) Survivor Jane who has her own survival blog, started the #preppertalk hashtag on Twitter and speaks at Prepper Conferences also.

The show spent the first part of their episode focused on Rick’s camouflaged food forest that he has grown on his secluded property in the Appalachian mountains. I was already familiar with the concepts but seeing his home and surrounding lush permaculture garden was interesting and got me thinking about this subject all over again. If you don’t know what I mean by camouflaged you can watch the video below where Rick shows you some of what he has grown.

What a Secret Garden Looks Like and Why It’s Important with Rick Austin from Sean Tounn on Vimeo.

The brilliant aspect of this from the standpoint of preppers is that unlike a garden, the camouflaged food forest requires less maintenance, less water, no chemicals and best of all, doesn’t look like a garden. This could be especially helpful if we have some EMP event like Rick and Jane were prepping for. One fear of a massive EMP strike is that there is no longer any power for long periods of time. With this is the potential for vehicles to no longer work, gas pumps and pretty much any other electronic devices unless they are heavily shielded. If this happens, trucks won’t be rolling to deliver food.  Food shortages lead to food riots which lead to people scouring yards looking for food. Gardens will make an easy target in the right season. If your main food source is hidden in what looks like an overgrown patch of plants, you will be more likely to have your secret garden overlooked.

What are Permaculture Guilds?

I found this great article below on the Never Ending Food website that describes the process and concepts nicely. I also recommend getting Rick’s book the Secret Garden of Survival for some great photographs and practical application advice. It is much cheaper on Kindle now. You can also visit Rick’s site and read the first chapter online for free.

Diagram of a food guild.

Diagram of a permaculture guild.

 

Permaculture is based on natural systems like those that we see in forests.  In a forest system, there are multiple layers of vegetation growing together in a very diverse setting.  We see many types of trees, shrubs, plants, insects, animals, and various other things all living together in a system that continually strengthens itself.  All of these components of a natural ecosystem serve a function (or several functions) that support each other like the strands of a web.  One strand on its own may be weak, but the combination of all the strands together add to the overall strength and usefulness of the web.In order to mimic these natural systems and to provide for human needs (i.e. food, building supplies, fuel, fibers, etc.) we must learn to identify and work with the various functions of our natural resources.  This is where the concept of the “Permaculture Guild” comes from.  A guild is usually defined as an association of people working toward a common goal.  In Permaculture, a guild is a grouping a plants, animals, insects, and other natural components that also work together to help ensure their survival.  Instead of planting gardens, Permaculture teaches us how to “build guilds”.  Instead of teaching about specific plants, we teach about the plant’s functions.  This is why Permaculture can work throughout the whole world.  It is a guide for design rather than a “how-to” type of agriculture.  (For more information on Permaculture Design, click here.)A good Permaculture guild generally has seven components:

Food for us

When building a guild we need to think about maximizing the health and nutritional benefits that we will be getting from our systems.  In order to eat a diversity of foods we need to plant a diversity of foods.  In Malawi this should be based on our 6 food groups. This means including fruits, vegetables, staples, legumes & nuts, fats, and even animals.  With good planning, we should be able to receive foods from all of the 6 food groups throughout the entire year.

Food for the soil

All plants need nutrients to grow, just like we do.  One of the main nutrients that plants use for growth is call nitrogen.  An easy way to get nitrogen into the soil is by planting legumes (i.e. beans, peas, groundnuts, leguminous trees, etc).  All legumes are considered “nitrogen-fixers” and are able to take nitrogen from the air and convert it to a usable form in the soil.  Using legumes actually helps to ”feed” the plants that they are growing near.  The leaves and other organic matter from legumes may also be added to compost to increase the nitrogen content.   Any organic matter that is added back to the soil will eventually help to act as food for the soil  This includes: leaves, kitchen scraps, market resources, decaying matter, compost, compost tea, mulch, manure, etc.

Diggers/Miners

Deep rooted plants, such as trees, will reach deep into the earth’s soil (like a miner) and bring minerals up to the surface.  These deep rooted plants also act as diggers to break open the soil, make it soft, and allow for air & water to be easily absorbed.  Some diggers also take the form of root crops that can be used as staple foods. Examples of diggers include: cassava, sweet potatoes, yams, Irish potatoes, trees and other deep rooted plants, etc.  Diggers can even be insects and animals that burrow through the soil such as: ants, termites, worms, beetles, mice, etc.

Groundcover

These protect the soil from the sun, help to hold moisture, and help to keep “weeds” (good plants in the wrong place) down. There are many types of groundcovers available in Malawi.  These include: sweet potato vines, pumpkin, cucumbers (minkaka, zinkhananga, fwifwi, etc), and anything else that will vine or spread across the soil.  Mulch is also a form of groundcover.

SecretGardenClimbers

Climbers help to maximize food production, especially in areas where land resources may be scarce or limited.  In most forest sytems you will generally see examples of climbers, because nature uses all of its layers to their fullest potential.  Examples of climbers that you can use in Malawi include: beans, passion fruit (magalagadeya), loofa (chinkupule), air potatoes, cucumbers (zipwete, minkhaka), etc.

Supporters

These are stronger items that support the climbers and make the most of our space.  Supporters can be living things like trees, bushes, stalks such as a maize or sunflower, or they can be non-living things like houses, bathing areas, outdoor toilets,  walls, fences, etc.  The main thing to be careful of is choosing the right supporter for the right climber.  Some climbers are very aggressive and can bring down a fence, or take over a tree.  If you put a passion fruit vine into a mango tree, you may not end up with any mangoes.  This is where thinking ahead and planning become very important.

Protectors

Any thing that helps to protect your guild is a protector.  In terms of protecting your guild from damaging insects, strong smelling plants can be very useful.  Things like onions, chives, spices, lemon grass, and pungent flowers can help to repel insects and even confuse them making it difficult for them to find their food.  Natural predators can also be very helpful in controling the insect problems in a guild.  Beneficial animals and insects such as frogs, birds, lizards, praying mantis, ladybugs, etc should be attracted to the garden with various types of habitat and plants that they prefer.  You can even protect from larger animals like goats and people by using things with thorns or sharp ends.  Some living fences that we have seen are even more effective than the razor wire that many people put along their fences.

Downloads

Click on the link(s) below to download

Permaculture Guild Handout
PDF of a Guild handout that we use for teaching.  Feel free to reproduce it, use it for teaching, and share it with others.  That is another Permaculture principle – Observe, learn, and share!

 

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The Revolution will Not be Fought with Rubber Bulletshttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/21/revolution-will-not-be-fought-with-rubber-bullets/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/21/revolution-will-not-be-fought-with-rubber-bullets/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 17:58:43 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=10897 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

As we watch the events unfold in Ferguson, Missouri I am struck by how forces seem to be compelling this confrontation of police and protestors towards a violent catastrophe that has far reaching ramifications for our society. Instead of a de-escalation of hostility there is more aggression and provocation on both sides. Instead of openness […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

As we watch the events unfold in Ferguson, Missouri I am struck by how forces seem to be compelling this confrontation of police and protestors towards a violent catastrophe that has far reaching ramifications for our society. Instead of a de-escalation of hostility there is more aggression and provocation on both sides. Instead of openness and transparency with productive dialog, there are efforts to stifle free speech. Rather than protestors communicating without violence the righteous desire for their voices to be heard and grievances aired, innocent store owners are robbed and their businesses destroyed by rioters and looters. All of this falls under the shadow of recently released U.S. Army training manuals that describe in icy detail the proper methods of killing unarmed protestors with military snipers. Is it me or does anyone else wonder at the almost too perfect confluence of factors that would seem tailor-made for a tragic and life changing set of events to unfold that will rip the fabric of this nation – which is already hopelessly frayed – completely apart.

We have seen recent cases of protests in other countries that stretch on for weeks and months. Some of these protests grew from seemingly far less outrage worthy issues like the .10 cent increase in the bus fare in Rio to larger and legitimate political upheaval on the other end of the spectrum like the overthrow of the Egyptian Government. In Egypt, the army was the one responsible for overthrowing President Morsi. In our country, our Army is training to kill their fellow citizens in the event of “unruly and violent crowds” where it is “necessary to quell riots and restore public order.” I believe that before it is all over with, the crowds in Ferguson will become “violent” with respect to law enforcement. The question is, what steps will be taken to restore order? More importantly, what will happen after that?

Description of how to escalate injury to the final point of death.

Description of how to escalate injury to the final point of death.

Where are we headed?

It is possible that the protestors will finally give up and go home. It is possible that cooler heads will prevail and the escalation of force on the side of law enforcement at large will start to show signs of stopping by the police reacting with less force and aggression to the protestors. I hope that this is what does indeed happen because we will step back from the edge of a cliff. I still see problems ahead, but always welcome a reprieve if we can get one. Avoiding any additional violence or escalation would give us that temporary relief and not push things to disastrous consequences at this stage of the game.

The way I view it there are two ways this can go. The first way is what I described above. We would be lucky if nothing more serious that what has already happened occurs. As time passes, the rage that protestors feel will wane and perhaps they will use other methods to voice their frustration that don’t end in physical altercations or destruction of property. It could be that we find incontrovertible evidence that the police officer was highly justified in his actions and eventually people will calm down and realize this was just another needless death that was not the result of racism, but rather illegal or life threatening behavior.

The way I fear this will go is that someone will take it to the next level. Someone in the crowd will do something that makes the police and National Guard feel that the crowd has become violent. All it takes is for one gunshot or explosive device or Molotov cocktail lobbed into a crowd of police officers or National Guard members and then the pent-up fear and aggression we have seen for the last week will explode. If this happens, I see a bloodbath initially because the police or National Guard will no longer be using rubber bullets. The bullets will be real and real people will die again.

This isn’t without precedent, just look at Kent State where the National Guard was brought in to quell protests on a college campus. The protestors were protesting the invasion of Cambodia by President Nixon. You could argue that radical forces joined in with the campus demonstrations and the protests became more inflamed than they might if they were left to their own devices. Invading another country is one thing to get upset about, but when you have the death of a young man and compound that with racial tension as well as groups like the Nation of Islam, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton stoking fires I think the scenario in Ferguson could be exponentially more flammable and prone to explode. All it takes is the right trigger event.

Where to aim if you want to kill someone.

Where to aim if you want to kill someone.

What next?

If we have an event where people are killed or the violence continues to escalate and the crowds continue to grow, next comes Martial Law at least in Ferguson but maybe that will spread to other areas. During Martial Law, your rights are pretty much thrown out of the window. Police will come door to door and you will have gun confiscations just like they had in Katrina in New Orleans. Both the shootings at Kent State and the gun confiscations in Katrina were perpetrated by the National Guard. You may think the National Guard would never do anything like that. How could they take guns away when that violates the constitution? People who are scared of gun confiscation are conspiracy theorists, right? It will never ever happen. Ever.

If this does happen again, those are two events could crystallize this issue in the hearts of others outside of Missouri. As a nation many have grown more concerned with the path this country has been taken down by its politicians.  Coincidentally enough,  St. Louis has already been the site of military training exercises back in 2012 so you could argue this has been planned or at least envisioned by someone in the past so it’s logical to assume they already have contingencies in place to enact martial law in a place just like this and conduct military exercises. The Army manual describing how to shoot unarmed civilians to “Exploit the psychological effect of a show of force” seems to go hand in hand with the numerous accounts of police snipers training their rifles directly on protestors in Ferguson. This reminds me of the Ukrainian protests where Ukrainian police snipers shot at protestors. That could never happen here, right? That is just a crazy conspiracy.

Some people, but not all view actions like this as horrible and worrisome. There are those who will not tolerate actions like this from government and view that type of event as just one more sign, one more step down a path to tyranny. I don’t know what will happen if these events come to pass. There are many more of you who think this is conspiracy theory and have no problem with police taking guns away from law-abiding citizens. I guess this article isn’t meant for you.

What does this have to do with prepping?

For one thing it means that going to demonstrations is futile and could get you killed. I wouldn’t go to riots if you plan on making a difference. The only difference you will make is in your own mind. I also would never destroy anyone’s property who had nothing to do with the incident you are protesting because that is just stupid. Looting? Do I really have to say why this is a bad idea? Contrary to Al Sharpton, shoplifting and robbery are the same thing.

As I said in a recent post, it depends on what the disaster is that you are prepping for. If you are prepping for a power outage and have no problem with the events of Ferguson then this might not concern you. If you are prepping for a hurricane and do not care if guns are confiscated, or our military rationalize shooting its citizens, then you have nothing to worry about. If you think that nothing bad can ever happen to bring our country down; that it is perfectly fine our borders are being flooded with illegals every day who get free travel to other destinations while we get groped if we try to fly, no problem. I you don’t give a rip that we are amassing so much debt that there is no way in the world it can be repaid, that Ebola carriers are flown back into the states,  or that our government thinks it is perfectly fine to spy on every single thing you do and kill you with drones if necessary then you must live a wonderful life. Ignorance is bliss.

Prepping for me is about more than natural disasters. I prep for man-made disasters too and I am not referring to global warming. The officials in charge of this country have for many years (on both political sides) taken steps to prepare for war with the American people. This isn’t a conspiracy, it is a published fact that DHS views Veterans and gun owners as potential terrorists. I choose to prepare for these contingencies as well as I fall into both categories.

I am not one to call for revolution and that is not the intent of this article. On the contrary, I have said before that people should not want this type of event to come to our nation. An all out civil war or a national protest where the military would actively be engaged in killing protestors would be a horrible future that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I think the responsibility to resolve this situation falls squarely on the men and women who are being asked to follow these orders that target civilians. It is the servicemen and women behind the sniper scopes, militarized police forces and political offices that create policies and process who need to show restraint and deference to the public and the constitution who you swore to defend. Our soldiers do not kill innocent people in foreign countries if they are protesting, so why is our nation less deserving of restraint? It is not the responsibility of free citizens to cower to overwhelming and growing signs of aggression from our police. It is not the people who pay for the military with our taxes and send our children in service of our country who should become the targets in the sniper scopes.

I do not wish for Revolution, but it is a potential path I can see our nation headed down. You may disagree with me, but if it does happen, anyone out there who thinks that our country will go quietly without a fight should remember that there are millions of us who love freedom just as much as you seem to love to take it from us. If the scale and scope of this event spiral to the point where we see our own national protests in America it would be the 2nd Revolution. One thing to consider though is that in one respect we don’t have the same equipment as the police. Any American revolution will not be fought with rubber bullets.

I hope as I said above that cooler heads prevail and that by some miraculous intervention our country can step forward on a path towards healing. Healing from racism, tyranny and oppression in all forms so that we can live out the promise that was paid for with the blood of our forefathers in the first revolution. We don’t need a second.

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Selecting the Ideal Prepper Dog and Trainerhttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/20/selecting-ideal-prepper-dog-trainer/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/20/selecting-ideal-prepper-dog-trainer/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 22:00:51 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=10887 Written by Ted Hoppe on The Prepper Journal.

If you have been thinking of getting a dog to use as a “Prepper Dog”, this article will help guide you in choosing the best candidate and understanding the training behind the Ideal Prepper Dog. There are certain qualities which one needs to look for in an ideal SHTF dog. The dog should be naturally […]

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Written by Ted Hoppe on The Prepper Journal.

If you have been thinking of getting a dog to use as a “Prepper Dog”, this article will help guide you in choosing the best candidate and understanding the training behind the Ideal Prepper Dog.

There are certain qualities which one needs to look for in an ideal SHTF dog. The dog should be naturally alert, intelligent, athletic and courageous, with a strong sense of duty to protect home and family. Good genetics will produce a healthier dog with lower maintenance. It is good if the dog is not too large and able to get into small spaces but big enough to be a man stopper, not just an alarm dog. A Prepper Protection Dog will stop a man if needed but will be compact enough to fit into small places.

The best breeds for the job are the Belgian Malinois, Dutch Shepherd and German Shepherd as well as crosses of these breeds which are often used successfully in the Military and for Police K-9 work. These dogs are recognized as Police K-9 dogs by the criminal element and therefore are a strong psychological deterrent. There are other breeds and mixes which could make great protection dogs as well & a professional trainer would be able to evaluate and set up a suitable training program for you and your dog, as well as evaluate your handling skills and whether you can handle a high drive dog, or need more of a medium drive dog.

Most Huskies, Labradors, Great Danes and Poodles would be a small example of breeds that are not generally suitable for Prepper Dogs, as they are bred to be companions and pets, not a working protection dog.

The Military uses Malinois for bomb detection and protection work for Special Forces.

The Military uses Malinois for bomb detection and protection work for Special Forces.

There are three types of dogs for protection work. An alarm dog, that is a small/large dog who barks to alert you that something is wrong. A threat dog is one who looks big and fearsome, will bark but is purely for a psychological deterrent. A man stopper, is a large powerful dog professionally trained to physically stop a man if need be. A man stopper dog, if given the command or if his owner is attacked, must react. This dog is capable of damaging a person badly in a brief encounter and has the confidence and training to do so while remaining under the control of it’s handler.

Not everyone can handle a man stopper. There are varying degrees of threat dogs and man stoppers. The handler’s abilities and handling skills will directly determine if they are capable of having such a dog. I have placed many trained protection dogs with new handlers and families. It is very important for someone to get a dog that they can handle. GatorlandK9 has 40 combined years of experience matching dogs with handlers to ensure success.

A dog for prepper work must be environmentally sound, that is the dog is not stressed in new places or situations. A well trained Prepper Dog should be able to work in hostile environments with gun fire, bad weather and stressful surroundings. If a dog folds under these conditions, it should not be considered for prepper work. Another trait which will disqualify a dog is uncontrollable aggressive behavior. The dog can not be a danger or a loose canon.  A dog should be confident, social and obedient to its pack leader. Professional training by someone who understands protection work will teach your dog to obey it’s advanced obedience, which should be required by any reputable trainer before going on to protection work. Protection exercises will focus on defense of the handler and area that the family has chosen to live. Most importantly, the dog learns when and when it is not appropriate to defend it’s territory. If the handler is attacked, the dog must react.   Proper training helps prepare your dog for violent conflict.

American Street Ring is a system of practical protection training that was founded by Ted Hoppe. The ASR Protection Dog Level would be a good foundation for a Prepper Dog because it combines intermediate level obedience with handler protection exercises that show that the dog will not just bite a sleeve but will protect the handler. Criminals do not wear bite sleeves and your Prepper Protection Dog needs to be trained for the real world. For more information on American Street Ring as a system of training for Prepper Dogs, go to http://gatorlandk9.com/available-dogs/protection-dogs

Protection Dogs will be able to give you time to get to your gun.

Protection Dogs will alert you to intruders and give you time to get to your firearm.

An important duty of the trained dog is to take away the element of surprise if you are attacked. If someone is planning on robbing you and sneaking up on you, a good Prepper Dog should alert on this. As a handler, you need to recognize that your dog is communicating an alert to you which may be subtle such as having the dog stand and the ears perk up or more dramatic such as barking and running in the direction of the threat.

The best protection you can have is a well trained dog and a gun. In the event of a robbery, the dog will buy you time to get your gun and take away the element of surprise of the bad guy. If you have a dog sleeping by your bed and someone is trying to break in, the dog needs to slow that person down or stop that person, buying you time to get your gun. Remember, an alarm system cannot defend you and a gun cannot wake you up. A good Prepper Dog can do both.

A criminal may have doubts as to your ability to use a gun or your willingness to shoot him, but that same criminal may show more fear of a dog than someone with a gun. This is where the value of having a Prepper Dog comes in. The importance of the psychological deterrent cannot be over stressed.

If and when the grid goes down, everything as we know it will change. Dogs must serve a purpose in protecting their owners. The time to train your Prepper Dog is now.

You can contact Ted Hoppe at 888-898-7877 or go to the website for pictures and videos of training at http://www.gatorlandk9.com

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Top Five Reasons for a Woman to Carry Concealedhttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/19/top-five-reasons-for-a-woman-to-carry-concealed/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/19/top-five-reasons-for-a-woman-to-carry-concealed/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 01:48:43 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=10858 Written by Cornelia Adams on The Prepper Journal.

I recently completed several hours of instruction to get my concealed carry permit. In the state where I reside, eight hours or instruction, a written exam, and qualification at a range are required to receive documentation to apply for concealed carry permits. States differ in their requirements so do your homework if you are interested […]

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Written by Cornelia Adams on The Prepper Journal.

I recently completed several hours of instruction to get my concealed carry permit. In the state where I reside, eight hours or instruction, a written exam, and qualification at a range are required to receive documentation to apply for concealed carry permits. States differ in their requirements so do your homework if you are interested in attaining a permit. A helpful site with loads of info is at USA Concealed Carry. There is also a great app available for your iPhone or Android called Legal Heat that updates you and keeps you current if laws change in your state or any state you may be traveling to.

I wanted to share my experience with obtaining a concealed carry permit because I believe it’s helpful to hear a first-hand account to be prepared for the best and the worst. The fees for these classes can be pricey and time-consuming so hopefully, in writing this, I can give insight into the process. In other words, as Abe Lincoln put it, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” Additionally I wanted to share my top five reasons for a woman to carry concealed so you ladies out there could benefit from the perspective of a female’s voice on this subject.

Before my first class even started, I was of the opinion that there existed three types of women who get their concealed carry permit:

  1. Rambo Rhonda – A woman who wants to be perceived as a hard, unconventional, gun-toting, sharp-shooting gal who can talk caliber and weaponry with any man on the planet.
  2. Paranoid Patricia – A woman who is convinced that women everywhere are under attack. They want the protection of a firearm so that they can set straight the next rapist, mugger, home-invader, or rabid dog that attempts to invade their space.
  3. Hounded Henrietta – This is me. My husband had wanted me to take the class and carry for some time and I finally gave in to fulfill his earthly desires.

I was the only woman in the whole class. The class was divided into two days; four hours each. At the end there was a written test and I had to qualify by hitting 28 out of 40 hits to a target. Most of the preliminary instruction was just about the legality of putting a hole in someone and under what circumstances it was frowned upon and could land you in a lot of trouble. During the breaks I mingled with my fellow classmates who liked to share stories, gun knowledge, and loads of advice for me to follow because I am a woman and I obviously needed it. They were well-meaning so I nodded my head and pretended to be completely astounded at how incredibly knowledgeable in “all things guns” they were. I fell short of breaking out a notepad and pen, taking notes and suggesting they approach the instructor and demand to take over the class.

After the first day, I let out a sigh of relief, but then remembered that the qualification would follow the next day. I have shot several different guns on many occasions. My husband has filled my head with all the information regarding proper handling and safe discharge of a gun. I don’t know why I was so anxious; I had no reason to think I would fail.

Day two had arrived and we had to take the written test which I was not the least bit nervous about thanks to my husband. He had been drilling firearm dos and don’ts into my head for years. Once the exam was completed, the live fire qualifying was the last hurdle. I took the gun I like to shoot best. It’s a 1911 that my husband’s grandfather carried in Vietnam. I like it because it never jams, it’s easy to rack the slide, and well, I just like it. We all obediently followed out instructor like lemmings inside the range with our glasses, ear protection, and gun cases. This is the point where I realized that there was a good chance that I might vomit. My nerves were shot and every horrible scenario I had envisioned the night before flooded my brain and took over all common sense. For instance, I had imagined my husband’s horror when he received the call that I had accidentally shot my instructor. I wondered, “What if I completely missed the target 40 times and my classmates and instructor laughed me out of the range pelting me with earplugs as I shamefully exited the building with my tail between my legs.” Worst of all, the instructor told us stories of past mistakes stupid and incompetent people had made when qualifying which only added to the multitude of things that could go terribly wrong. All that said, I still managed to walk back to the range clinging to my case with sweaty palms. The instructor inquired as to who wanted to shoot first. And do you know what all the men said? “Ladies first,” the gentlemen exclaimed in unison. I swallowed hard, stood up, and slid my magazine in. The instructor told me I would have to shoot in designated clusters from either a down position or a draw. I took a deep breath and shot my target. I hit 37 out of 40, even with shaky hands and a group of know-it-alls standing behind me scrutinizing my every move. When it was all done I was a sweaty mess, my heart was pounding, but I had my certificate. When I confessed to my instructor that I had been so nervous he replied, “Everyone should be tested when their heart is pounding in their throat and they’re less than confident because more than likely if the need arises for you to defend yourself you will feel exactly that. Now you know you can shoot when the pressure is on.” Sage advice.

I have concluded since then that it is unfair to throw women into the three categories because I discovered that there is a little bit of Rambo Rhonda and Paranoid Patricia in me and maybe, many other women. Now that I have completed my instruction and survived the qualification, I can legally be a gun-toting woman who is able to fend off an attacker, rapist, or robber if that moment ever arises. Although my reason for taking the class may have been my husband’s insistence, I can safely say that Hounded Henrietta is relieved and feels a sense of accomplishment.

In addition, if you have never handled a gun or don’t feel you have the confidence with a firearm, find a range near you. Ranges offer classes to beginners and it would be a great first step for anyone wanting to carry.

Still not convinced you should carry concealed? Here are the Top Five Reasons for a woman to Carry Concealed:

 

#1 -You will be prepared in the event you need to defend your life or the life of someone else.

Carrying concealed at its most basic means that you simply have a firearm in your possession. The advantage of concealing the firearm is that you don’t freak people out who are scared of guns and you don’t immediately draw attention to yourself from any bad guys. By having a concealed weapon on your person, you will be in a position to defend yourself if necessary. All the guns in the world don’t do you any good if you don’t have one when you need it.

#2 – Carrying concealed will make you more aware of your surroundings

Carrying concealed will cause you to notice your surroundings more and observe things like people, their reactions and exits. I don’t know if it is the weight of the firearm that you constantly feel regardless of where you choose to conceal this on your body or the simple awareness that you have a responsibility and the ability to step into action if the need arose. Carrying concealed places you in a mindset to act that you weren’t in before when the gun stayed at home.

#3 – Carrying concealed will make you more confident

Along with the awareness in reason number 2 and because of reason number one you will be more confident when you carry concealed that you will be able to defend a life. As long as you are comfortable with the operation of your chosen firearm and have trained yourself how to shoot effectively, having a weapon will empower you to act in defense of a live.

#4 – Your significant other (if you have one) will feel safer when you are alone

I like to take walks at night as the temperature is cooler but my husband was always a little concerned that I was going out into the darkness without any protection besides a wicked ability to scream that would rival the best horror movie star and maybe a flashlight. He would often give me his concealed carry weapon, but now that I can legally carry and do, he is more comfortable. I know this might not be a benefit to you, but it will give your loved ones peace of mind. Its a fringe benefit.

#5 – You can carry in your car without hiding your gun in the trunk or glove box

With your concealed carry license you no longer have to lock your weapon up in the trunk or glove-box when you are driving. With your concealed carry license, the old rules about transporting a weapon in the car no longer apply. You do have to be mindful if you are traveling to other states though to ensure you aren’t breaking another state’s laws. If you do plan to take a trip, consult the Concealed Carry Reciprocity map before you leave.

Do you have your concealed carry permit?

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Everything Depends on the Disasterhttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/18/everything-depends-disaster/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/18/everything-depends-disaster/#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 20:49:27 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=10846 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

The central tenet of prepper websites is the unflinching belief that you need to be prepared for unexpected events. That statement on its face seems to be able to stand on its own, without receiving too much argument from anyone. Really who would say that it is ever better to be unprepared for disasters or […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

The central tenet of prepper websites is the unflinching belief that you need to be prepared for unexpected events. That statement on its face seems to be able to stand on its own, without receiving too much argument from anyone. Really who would say that it is ever better to be unprepared for disasters or catastrophic events? Common sense backs us believers up so the “be prepared” part of prepping is easy to digest and safe for almost everyone to get on board with. It is when we start discussing the “what” you should “be prepared” for that causes the splits, arguments and name calling. The physical act of being prepared no longer makes sense to certain people if the “what” is not something they either believe would ever happen  or care about personally. As long as you are prepping for something they can see happening, or view as rational you aren’t crazy, but as soon as you mention something they find odd or out on the fringe, you have lost them and they get to discount everything you say from there on out.

At least that is what I have been able to observe over the years I have been prepping and if I am being honest, somewhere in the back of my mind I do this too, but on a much different level. There are some prepper motivations that I think are highly unlikely myself and when I hear people prepping for these events, I usually cock my head a little sideways and look at them with that patronizing smile on my face that I have been on the receiving end of as well. If you tell me you are prepping for an alien invasion then I might look at you slightly differently.

On the other hand, there is a broader universe of events I do consider valid or at least more possible than I did when I started prepping. I might draw the line at some of the outer ranges of unlikely events, but I think that most of the reasons people give for prepping aren’t that insane to me anymore. Events that to your average soccer mom might seem like sheer lunacy; I like to think I can look at with a more open mind and see the possibilities from the perspective of the prepper who believes these events could happen. Maybe it is because I blog about prepping topics almost daily that I can appreciate the viewpoints of my audience a little more than the average non prepper person, but I like to think that it isn’t simply that I am trying to be more inclusive for the sake of readership; it’s just that I believe that I don’t know everything and I certainly don’t have all the answers. Who am I to say anyone is crazy?

bear_grylls_04Will the real Survival Experts please stand up

All of the arguing around the best way to go about prepping invariably begins because one or more people believe that someone doesn’t know what they are talking about. I guess another way of putting it is that some people think they know more or possess more qualifications than the person that holds the beliefs they disagree with. This is most evidenced in 3 main prepping areas. Firearms, Government abuse and the Economic woes.

There have been countless articles written about firearms from the perspective of the hobbyist, hunter, soldier, law enforcement, instructor, target shooter and yes, the prepper. I have written a few pieces myself on various subjects like the best gun for home defense and the top 5 firearms you need to get your hands on now. Both of these articles have spawned a great discussion on the advantages and disadvantages of each in numerous scenarios. Additionally, they have both been linked from other websites and re-posted on other blogs and forums. I will occasionally check out the comments of my articles on other blogs to see if I can learn anything that wasn’t discussed on the Prepper Journal. Most of the time, the comments are great, but it never fails that there are at least a few people when it comes to articles like this who say words to the effect that “sounds like it was written by an internet expert”.

Before I go on I should say that I do not consider myself an expert on anything and I am pretty sure I have not positioned myself as an expert at anything I have written or commented on. I do have experience and military training, but I don’t believe I puff out my chest about any of my credentials and try to go out of my way in saying what my experience is on any given subject in advance.

That being said, I wonder what qualifications the people who make comments like this have. Surely, to denigrate someone’s opinion from the safety of a forum post or comment field must mean that your knowledge or skills are vastly superior and that may very well be the case but does it matter? It caused me to wonder two things though. First, who are the survival experts we should be listening to? Who would be qualified to tell anyone the best firearms to have in all circumstances if the grid went down? Would someone who was a police officer be an expert? Would someone who has been on a Reality TV show and can eat bugs be an expert? Surely, anyone who has written a book would be qualified, right? Any soldier who has been overseas in conflict would be an expert, without question, correct? I know there are people who have been around guns a lot more than I have. There are people who can break down an AK47 and put it back together blindfolded, hanging upside down in a sewer after not eating for 7 days. I know a guy who has run a survival blog for years so everything he says must be absolutely correct, right? Those people are the real experts, aren’t they?

I think on most prepper topics it comes down to what you are talking about , how many opinions people have on the subject at hand and whether or not they agree or disagree with what you are saying. Some topics are virtually never controversial on the other hand. Take canning for instance. Canning is pretty simple and there are a few things you have to know and do, but the overall process is the same for the same vegetables generally speaking. If someone is going to argue with what you are saying about how you can, they will usually point to some factoid about how the process will or won’t work. Using a different example of the fear of impending Government tyranny let’s say, we are talking about hypothetical scenarios almost 100% of the time. In many cases, these are events that have not happened, but many can see the writing on the wall based upon current events and historical precedent. What can or will happen is anyone’s guess and our best guess is what each of us brings to the table based upon our experiences and information at the present time. You have guesses from writers, bloggers and people everywhere in the comments of various forums. You will have people who steadfastly disagree with what you are saying for a whole host of reasons. At this point you become the idiot because they don’t believe what you do. You are officially an internet expert.

Who is qualified to give prepping advice?

Don’t get me wrong, I think the survival gurus have some very specialized skills that we can all learn from , but those are usually from the perspective of getting stranded or lost in the wilderness. That is probably one of the most avoidable fates I can think of with a little planning and on some level, their type of survival is not what we are talking about when we are discussing the subject of prepping.

I think the best resources to go to for the broader subject of prepping present a wide spectrum of thought and information about a variety of topics that we can logically envision needing to know about when times get tough. This is rarely to mandate one and only one way to do anything, but provide a lot of different information so that you can choose what works for you. When it comes to any warnings, a good source of information will explain situations they see happening and usually offer up some rationale for why they believe the way they do. Does this mean that everything they say is 100% accurate? We will never know unless the event they were talking about comes to pass. It doesn’t mean that what they say is wrong simply because I or anyone else disagrees with it either. It doesn’t mean it won’t happen if it hasn’t yet or “Experts say it is highly unlikely”, thank you very much Doomsday Preppers. The real experts, not the internet kind have been wrong before.

In lieu of someone who has physically been through every single imaginable event known to the prepping universe and can speak to every conceivable situation on gear and recommendations, someone like Selco who survived through the Balkan war comes to mind. He has a one year in hell course that describes what he lived through and if you want to point to someone who could come close to being called an expert (in SHTF living in the Balkans during that conflict) my vote would be for him. For the rest of us internet experts who have never come close to anything like that, we are all giving our best guesses based upon our training and experiences and common sense. You know what? We won’t all be wrong either.

There is no college degree for Prepping. Prepping isn’t something you can apprentice in and after many years work your way up to your Master Prepper license that can sit framed on your living room wall. There really is no right way or wrong way to prep and nobody knows what the future holds. Most of the people who call themselves preppers are trying to prepare for a single something but what they do and how they prepare might be different than what you do if the disaster is different. If they live in a country that doesn’t allow guns, they might view how you prep as abnormal when you talk about stocking up on ammo. If you live in the country and are prepping to survive a tornado, what you do will be different than a city dweller preparing for riots. Everything depends on the disaster. Prepping by its very nature gets you prepared for a myriad of events you may not have ever dreamed of. It is the diversity of preparedness that will strengthen your family’s ability to weather unexpected events safely with as little disruption as possible. There is no way to reasonably cover every conceivable natural or man-made event that could happen to you, but regardless of what happens, if you have the basics of survival, your family will be so much better off. Who cares if aliens never land as long as you have supplies and a plan to survive when the next hurricane comes ashore? It doesn’t matter what actually lands that poses a threat, as long as you are prepared.

What should you focus on?

I think the best advice I as a non-expert can give you is to focus on what isn’t arguable. Focus on what your family as human beings need to live and that is water, food, shelter and security. If you have that taken care of, the event that causes you to rely on those preps is secondary. I do have a lot of people who will back me up on this one though. The survival and gun forum experts might have something to say, but we will leave that for my next post on firearms.

Thank you for reading; I’ll try my best never to steer you wrong.

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Police Abuse, Riots, and AR-15 Rifleshttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/16/police-abuse-riots-ar-15-rifles/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/16/police-abuse-riots-ar-15-rifles/#comments Sat, 16 Aug 2014 18:30:41 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=10829 Written by Chuck Baldwin on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: This article is from Pastor Chuck Baldwin and originally appeared on his website www.chuckbaldwinlive.com. In the article, Chuck lays out the case for a biblical mandate to defend and protect your family. The motivation behind this message is from the increasing prevalence of a militarized police force who seem to act in ways […]

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Written by Chuck Baldwin on The Prepper Journal.

Editors Note: This article is from Pastor Chuck Baldwin and originally appeared on his website www.chuckbaldwinlive.com. In the article, Chuck lays out the case for a biblical mandate to defend and protect your family. The motivation behind this message is from the increasing prevalence of a militarized police force who seem to act in ways that show a complete disdain for the citizens they are sworn to protect as well as the ongoing threats of violence in big cities by an out of control population.  Our world is not a peaceful place. As preppers one of the most important items to consider is the security of your family. Pastor Baldwin sums his beliefs up nicely below but even if you disagree with the Christian mandate, we have a human mandate to protect our families from violence.


 

If You Don’t Have Such A Rifle, Go Buy One Now!

The recent killing of an unarmed teenager by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer incited riots in and around the northern St. Louis area. As usual, the police version and the version of several eye witnesses lie in stark contrast. The police version is, the young man was struggling with the officer and trying to take his weapon from him–and the officer fired his weapon in self-defense. Several eyewitnesses say the young man had his hands in the air and was surrendering when the officer shot him. The latter version is the more popular view of local residents, which prompted hundreds of people to riot. Yes, the victim was a young black man.

It is very unfortunate and counter-productive when race becomes the focus of any story such as this. But it almost always does. Our propaganda media, which loves to use the race card, almost always makes any such tragedy some kind of racial discrimination story. Sometimes it is; but more often than not, race had nothing to do with it.

It is also very unfortunate that among the vast majority of God-fearing, law-and-order Americans, policemen are automatically assumed to be guiltless in the face of accusations of police abuse. It’s almost like when a man puts on a badge and a gun, he becomes incapable of human misconduct.

Am I suggesting that a majority of police-killings are unjustified? I am not. I still believe that the vast majority of our men and women in blue (and brown for sheriff’s deputies) are good-hearted, sincere, law-abiding people who do a tough job outstandingly well. The vast majority–but not all.

Sadly, incidences of police abuse seem to be skyrocketing. Examples of police arrogance and overreach are ubiquitous. More and more law enforcement personnel have an “us versus them” mentality. And the “them” are the citizens they (the “us”) took an oath to protect and serve. More and more policemen have a shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later mindset. And more and more of them look upon their fellow citizens as “the enemy.”

(Source: AP Photo / Jeff Roberson)

(Source: AP Photo / Jeff Roberson)

True story: A Christian policeman was recently asked to speak at a church gathering. The officer works in the traffic division of a small town. Mostly, he gives out parking and speeding tickets. As he opened his address to his fellow churchmen, he said, “I am a cop; I work among the dregs of society.” Really? People who get parking tickets and drive 10 or 15 miles an hour over the speed limit are the “dregs” of society? That statement should have disqualified everything the officer had to say after that. But, sadly, the vast majority of Christians in the audience thundered their approval with choruses of “Amen!” This illustrates the depth of the problem we are now facing.

Putting on a badge and a gun no more makes a man righteous than putting on a tool belt or a fire suit or a waitress apron or a clergyman’s frock or a welder’s helmet or a lab coat, etc. If anything, putting on a badge and a gun makes a man more accountable for his actions than an ordinary profession.

While the incident in Missouri is still being investigated, there are plenty of examples of police conduct that is either questionable at least or downright Gestapo-like at worst. Last month, an unarmed man was choked to death by a police officer in Staten Island, New York. Five years ago, an Oakland, California police officer shot and killed a young man while he was lying face down on a subway platform. Two years ago, an unarmed National Guardsman was shot and killed by a New York policeman during a traffic stop. Unfortunately, these incidents seem to be escalating. Yes, the Oakland officer was prosecuted and convicted, but this is the exception not the rule. Seldom is an offending police officer ever charged with a crime–or even removed from his post.

Add to the list of police killings the tens of thousands of people who are severely beaten or abused, often without provocation, by out-of-control rogue officers, and the picture becomes even more ominous. Again, I readily recognize that these rogue officers are the exception and not the rule, but the sad reality is that these bad cops are mostly allowed to continue their brutality with impunity. For a policeman to be removed from his job, much less face prosecution, is a rarity indeed.

And here is the kicker: after the New York and Missouri incidents mentioned above, the U.S. Justice Department has announced that it is widening its involvement in local policing in an attempt to curb the growing abuse of power.

Are you kidding me?

The reason that so many of our local and State police agencies are succumbing to increased examples of police abuse is directly due to the militarization of local and State police agencies by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The DHS is providing the funding, the armaments, the military-style vehicles, military-style tactics and training, etc. for all of these local and State police agencies. The arrogance and heavy-handed tactics of these rogue police officers is largely attributed to the influence of the U.S. government’s Department of Homeland Security. Now, this same U.S. government is going to “widen” its involvement with local police agencies in order to curb police violence? Get real! You know what’s happening: the U.S. Justice Department is widening its involvement in local police agencies in order to further its parochial political agendas and to further promote political correctness.

What we need are constitutional sheriffs who will courageously serve as the people’s vanguard against both the overreach of the federal government (which spawns so much police abuse, both local and federal) and against rogue officers among the police agencies of his jurisdiction. We also need partisan-free prosecutors in the local court systems. So many prosecutors are primarily motivated by partisan politics than they are “liberty and justice for all.” And we also need jurors who are truly blind to their prejudices and propensities and are willing to acquit or convict on the basis of proven fact alone. When a policeman steps over the line, he or she must be held as accountable as any ordinary citizen.

I personally believe, and would aggressively support, making all sheriff and county prosecutor’s races non-partisan (like judges). Justice should always be politically (and, yes, racially) blind. We have far, far too many political prisoners in our jails and prisons in this country. And if you don’t think that’s true, it’s because most of the local media refuses to report this kind of injustice due to the political connections and partisanship of the paper’s publishers and editors. The same is true with local television news. Accordingly, I strongly believe that sheriff and county prosecutor’s races should be non-partisan. We should probably throw in the State attorney general’s race, also. Lady Justice is supposed to be blindfolded, but political partisanship has taken away her blindfold and given her tainted glasses.

Obviously, even if the killing of the young man in Missouri was unjustified, the ensuing riots were also unjustified.

My friends, if you live in a big metropolitan area, you are one Rodney King or Hurricane Katrina event away from a potential all-out war against your family and property. As in the riots in South Central Los Angeles in 1992, and in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005, people in northern St. Louis were subjected to the destruction of their property and the potential loss of life in the aftermath of the shooting of the young man in Ferguson.

Riots-in-Ferguson-5And, just as was the case in South Central Los Angeles, business owners in northern St. Louis protected their lives and properties with–you guessed it: AR-15 semiautomatic rifles. Had President Obama and Senator Feinstein had their way a few months back, those people in North St. Louis would have been defenseless against the violent rioters that were attacking them. The presence of the AR-15 semiautomatic rifle saved many a life and much property in Los Angeles, California in 1992, in New Orleans, Louisiana in 2005, and in North St. Louis, Missouri in 2014.

In any kind of civil unrest, the best protection any of us have is God, the loyalty and dedication of good friends and family members who are willing to protect our backs, and a .223 or .308 semiautomatic battle rifle with loaded, large-capacity magazines. If you don’t have such a rifle, GO BUY ONE NOW! If you don’t have enough ammo, go buy it now. And if you live in a State or city that won’t let you buy one, MOVE!

Add to the chaos of civil unrest caused by either man-made or natural disasters the fact that the U.S. government is unloosing hundreds of thousands–maybe millions–of violent illegals into our country, and anyone who is not well-armed for his or her own protection is downright foolish. According to Texas State officials, there have been nearly a half-million felonies committed by illegals during the last four years IN THE STATE OF TEXAS ALONE–including over 5,000 rapes and over 2,000 murders. Remember, these are crimes committed by illegals alone in the State of Texas alone.

Border Patrol agents are warning us that violent Mexican gang members, many of whom have already committed murder, are being allowed free access into the heartland of America. Texas State Senator Dan Patrick recently reported that his State now has over 100,000 illegal immigrant gang members. Again, that’s just in Texas.

The crime rate across the United States has been declining for years, and is currently at its lowest level in recent history. But watch out! Violent illegal gang members, including members of one of the most violent and notorious gangs ever, MS-13, are pouring into this country. The crime rates in communities across America are about to explode. There is no way that local police agencies are going to be able to protect you. And, in truth, that is not their job. It is your job to protect yourself, dear friend. And you are not going to protect yourself from marauding rioters or violent gang members with a six-shot revolver. Oh, the handgun is fine defense for one or two attackers; but for more than that, you need a large-capacity semiautomatic battle rifle. How many examples of civil unrest do you need to convince you? I guess the one that breaks out next to your neighborhood, huh?

Of course, the federal government is allowing these violent illegals into our country KNOWING the crime and havoc they will unleash on this country. They WANT violence and havoc to be unleashed on this country. They must raise the crime rates in America in order to justify the expansion of the national Police State they are determined to construct. But in the meantime, tens of thousands (maybe hundreds of thousands) of Americans are going to be beaten, paralyzed, robbed, raped, and murdered.

Overreaction?

Overreaction?

We don’t have to make it easy for these two-legged beasts: we can and should be an armed and ready populace capable and determined to protect our families, friends, neighborhoods, and communities: anything less is un-American, unmanly, and, un-Christian. Yes, you heard it right: It is un-Christian.

The Bible tells believers that any man who does not provide for his own, especially those of his own house, he has denied the Christian faith and is worse than an infidel. (I Timothy 5:8) And most certainly, “providing” for one’s own entails protection as much as it does food, clothing, and shelter. I, therefore, maintain that any Christian who is not prepared to protect and defend his family by being duly armed and trained in the use of arms has denied his faith and is truly worse than an infidel. Even heathens understand the Natural Law of self-defense. In fact, the entire natural kingdom understands the law of self-defense.

The recent killing of that young man in Missouri should serve to remind us that police, too, must abide by the law (I sincerely hope that the police officer involved did just that), that civil unrest can erupt anywhere in seconds, and that the need of the people to keep and bear, not just any arms, but semiautomatic battle rifles, is the best insurance for the survival of our lives and our liberties.

© Chuck Baldwin

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Top 3 SHTF Job Opportunities for Preppershttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/14/top-3-shtf-job-opportunities-for-preppers/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/14/top-3-shtf-job-opportunities-for-preppers/#comments Thu, 14 Aug 2014 20:08:31 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=10819 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

There are a lot of articles geared toward preppers that have been written suggesting that in order to survive TEOTWAWKI (The End of The World as We Know It) you should have skills that would be in short supply and more importantly valuable if society is trying to rebuild itself that you could conceivably make […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

There are a lot of articles geared toward preppers that have been written suggesting that in order to survive TEOTWAWKI (The End of The World as We Know It) you should have skills that would be in short supply and more importantly valuable if society is trying to rebuild itself that you could conceivably make a living with. I have heard examples of glass-making, blacksmith, electronics repair, sewing and leather-work to name a few. These are great skills to have, but I wonder how applicable they would be in a grid down society to preppers. I guess more to the point, should you waste your time building and collecting prepper supplies that will enable you to open up your own Blacksmith shop out of your back yard? Are these the best job opportunities for preppers?

Perhaps it helps to give these suggestions context. I assume that the people who are writing these articles are thinking long-term. For these skills to be valuable, we as a society would need to go back to the 1800s. I think that is very possible if some form of EMP device was exploded over our country and all electronic devices were completely destroyed. I don’t think that is necessarily going to be the case though. I don’t doubt an EMP is real and could one day be used, but I don’t see us going all Revolution and no devices work at all in the world. Maybe I am wrong.

Even without an EMP, we could have a massive blackout like they showed on National Geographic. Assuming I am wrong and an event that is so cataclysmic occurs that we are essentially reverted back to Little House on the Prairie days -  are these skills the best to have? Would you be able to make a living in this world as a blacksmith? Could you provide for your family with a lucrative leather goods store? Could you feed your family with beautiful glass you make in your shop at the end of the main street? Maybe, but how long would you have to get by waiting for this to happen?

In my mind, if we do have some catastrophic event that renders society unable to lean on the mechanical and technical inventions for the last 150 years or so, there will be so much more that you will need to worry about. It isn’t like if the grid goes down, you will just need to find a new job or you will be bored all day with nothing to do. Your job will be living! Each day you will be tested and there won’t be any vacation or benefits anymore. Your job will be survival and making sure everyone in your family is surviving too.

Job #1 – Feeding Yourself

Your stored food will eventually run out.

Job opportunity #1 – Your stored food will run out.

OK, the big one hit, whatever that is and you and your family are just fine. You have plenty of food stocked up in your pantry, or at least 6 months’ worth and as you crack open another can of soup you are thankful that you got your prepping supplies in order well before the collapse. The only problem is that your food will run out and you can’t punch up the freeze dried store on the internet anymore. You won’t be able to head on down to the local Piggly Wiggly either. You are going to need to spend some of every day focused on the food that your family needs to live.

But you already have a garden you say? That’s great but how many tomatoes do you think it would take to fill you up? Have you considered how much food your garden is going to need to produce to feed your family as well as extra for canning? Oh, you forgot about the winter months where nothing grows?

I sometimes complain about the work needed to keep a garden weed free and producing, but I am sandwiching my time in the garden between two other jobs and the usual social engagements. If my garden doesn’t produce, I can go to the store. If the grid goes down, I won’t have a traditional job, my job will be tending that garden and hunting for whatever game I can find. I will also be working on tending bees and raising chicken or rabbits. To do this right and by right I mean in a way that can feed your family when the grid goes down, you will be busy.

2 – Collecting Water for Yourself

In a grid down world, you won’t have water coming out of the tap anymore. Those solar panels and the pump, unless you stored them away in a faraday cage will be useless in an EMP event. How will you get water for drinking, preparing food and hygiene? The luckiest of us would have a fresh supply of water right on our property like a fast moving creek. You will still need to get to the creek, collect the water and get it back home. This is easier with a wagon and large buckets, but you might be surprised at how much water you would go through in one day. What if the water source is frozen?

Once you have the water, you will either need to boil it, which means building or tending a fire or filtering it. I prefer the filter method so I purchased a Big Berkey water filter to assist me in this department. I will still need to get the water though. I have rain barrels attached to the gutters on my house, but I would still need to make trips out to collect the water in buckets and bring those in for filtering. Some water I would most likely boil as opposed to filtering. Better to use a fire for shower water and cleaning dishes than reduce the life of my filters on those needs.

3 – Protecting Yourself

The world has gone to hell in a hand basket and you think it will be simple to set out your shingle and have everyone come visit you so you can fashion some metal into various useful things? I don’t see that happening until a lot of people are dead unfortunately. Just look at the events in Ferguson, MO over the last week. You have a tragedy of a young man who was killed and almost immediately shops were looted and burned down. Can you imagine what people will do if the electricity doesn’t work? When their EBT cards are worthless, when the grocery store in town is empty and eventually burned down too? These people don’t have gardens or water or chickens, but you do.

Police won't be a call away

Protecting your family could be the most important Job you have.

I think for a very long time after a SHTF type of event, life isn’t going to be nice. People are going to inflict and have inflicted on them violence of the type we haven’t seen in our lifetimes; most of us anyway. If society devolves that badly, you will need to defend your home, your family and anything you have. If you haven’t already, I would consider purchasing firearms to keep your family safe. It could be your most important job.

Now, there will be those who say I am crazy. The world would never end like that. People will never riot and our country will go on and on forever. OK, that may be true. Worst case scenario, I am wrong and you are right. What does that mean? It means I have food stored up and the means to make more as long as needed. It also means I can collect and filter my own drinking water regardless of what happens to my cities municipal supply. It also means I have a really nice piece of metal that never gets used.

But, if I am right and you are wrong… You are dead. Which odds do you like better?

I don’t want anyone to think I am knocking the abilities of someone who can work with metal or turn leather into useable goods. I wish I could do that and can appreciate their own usefulness when the grid goes down. I just think we have years to go after any collapse for those trades to be marketable. Could you use them to survive? Sure but I don’t think they will be your jobs on main street in Little Home on the Prairie town.

What do you think?

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Before you Start Prepping – What Are You Prepping For?http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/13/what-are-you-prepping-for/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/13/what-are-you-prepping-for/#comments Thu, 14 Aug 2014 01:04:42 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=10810 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

In almost every post on the Prepper Journal, we talk of preparing for disasters or emergencies and the simple steps you can take ahead of time to become prepared. Being prepared for specific or even general instances is a worthy goal, but once you get beyond the basics of survival what else is needed? The […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

In almost every post on the Prepper Journal, we talk of preparing for disasters or emergencies and the simple steps you can take ahead of time to become prepared. Being prepared for specific or even general instances is a worthy goal, but once you get beyond the basics of survival what else is needed? The basics of survival are food, water, shelter and security and we lay out a lot of ideas and recommendations for how to cover those four bases in our how to start prepping article. But does that advice make sense for you in your situation when someone asks you the question what are you prepping for? In some cases, are the basics really basic? What constitutes a disaster to you and is there only one path to becoming “prepared” for anyone and everyone?

What are you prepping for?

There are some really great prepping checklists out there and the general idea is that you can print out these lists of items to purchase or gather together and when you have completely checked off everything on the checklist, you will be all set. It’s so simple when you look at it this way, but the problem or at least something to consider with any checklist is how it pertains to you and your situation. Does this checklist make sense and more importantly, will it help you get prepared for what you think is coming down the road?

I think the answer could be no in certain situations and that is what I wanted to discuss today. Just because you have a list of survival items, it doesn’t mean that you will survive. Having gear doesn’t guarantee you will make it through anything better than anyone else, but they can be useful tools that could assist you in a survival scenario. I could have all the mountain climbing gear that the professionals own and still not possess the skills to make it up or down a mountain if I had to rely on the gear I didn’t know how to use. Could I use the rope somehow to help me down a sheer face? Possibly, but is getting that type of gear going to help me in my home in suburbia?

I think before you start compiling lists of items and wearing out your credit card on Amazon.com or the local camping store it is important to frame your efforts by getting a general picture of your end destination prior to jumping in and going in directions that might not help you get there in the fastest way. Before you start gathering a ton of gear for your bug out bag, ask yourself the question, what am I prepping for? Doomsday preppers does this every week and they let the preppers state what they are preparing for. You will hear in their own words everything from super tornadoes to massive earthquakes, tsunamis, nuclear war, economic collapse, government tyranny, global pandemic and dozens of others. These preppers have all put a figurative face on what it is they are preparing for and they can state what that is.

It’s important to have something you can visualize I believe because every decision after that can be viewed from the standpoint of is this going to help me prepare for X. Is this box of MRE’s going to help me prepare for an EMP attack from North Korea? Will this shotgun protect me from a super volcano? Will these heirloom seeds protect me from an earthquake? You aren’t limited to one thing either and for a lot of us, we see a few different scenarios that could happen and we prepare accordingly for both. Knowing what you are preparing for will help you identify what you need to do and putting these into a priority order will assist you when you ask yourself the next question of what to do first. The priority is up to you based upon what you know.

 

What will you need to be able to survive that threat?

After you know what it is you are prepping for, the next step is to make those lists that will help you cope with whatever disaster you are envisioning. If you could lay out everything you think you need on the floor to deal with that disaster you identified above, what would that list of items be? I will say that the four basics of Food, Water, Shelter and Security would be at the top of any list for the simple reason that you have to have all of those to live. You must have food or you will die in three weeks. You must have clean water or you will die in three days and you must have shelter from the elements or you could die in three hours. Those are pretty universal and should be at the top of anyone’s prepper list of supplies if you plan on any disaster that will prevent you from easily accessing these items for some duration.

I include security in my 4 basics because history shows again and again that in bad times, bad people will do bad things. Even some good people will do bad things out of desperation. I don’t want to have to defend my home with a can of green beans so I have firearms to protect my family.

But what else? The other items on your list begin after you have taken care of the basics. What does your disaster scenario tell you about your preps? What are the gaps between what you have and what you believe you need to survive a disaster?

Inventory what you currently have

When people ask me how to start prepping, there are a lot of things you could potentially need to take care of but in most cases, you already have some supplies.

One of the misconceptions about being a prepper is that the first thing you need to do is run out and get some camouflage pants and buy a gas mask, hop on your 4-wheeler and go tearing through the woods. Leave that to the people who are on Doomsday Preppers. The average family doesn’t do anything like that but again it goes back to what you are prepping for and if those camo pants or that gas mask could help you with your envisioned disaster. Let’s say you are prepping for something that happens every year in every state and that is a temporary loss of electrical power due to storms. What items would you need to deal with a blackout? What items on your lists do you already have and what do you need to consider acquiring?

For starters you should consider light. Most people already have flashlights, some may have lanterns and almost everyone can scrounge up a candle from somewhere. Do you have any way to prepare the food you have stored? Can you cook if the power has gone out? What about backup power? Do you have a generator or solar panels and batteries? Do you have a car? If so, an easy way to provide power in a blackout is to run an inverter off your car into your home. This will give you enough juice to power small electronics and charge things like cell phones and laptops. The only thing you would need really is the inverter and plenty of fuel that has been stored properly to run your car. For my lists, I write down everything I have as well as everything I need so that all items can be considered as part of my plan. This way I can identify where I have some redundancy built in.

Who are you prepping for?

Many of you are prepping for families and most of the items you would need to consider for any type of disaster could benefit everyone in your home, but there are some items you will need to be specific about. Do you have small children who are still in diapers or are drinking formula? Do you have pets that will need to be fed if the disaster prevents you from making it out to the store? What about taking your pets with you during a disaster? Do you have elderly relatives that may need to stay with you? Does anyone have medications that need to be kept cool? Do you have enough of these medications to last the duration of the disaster?

One thing I have tried to balance is my family’s needs versus their fashion sense. In my family, I am the only guy so it isn’t easy getting the women in my life to buy rugged 5.11 tactical pants. I can’t convince them that their trendy footwear is all but worthless and they should buy more substantial shoes that could actually last if we had to walk a hundred miles. I already know that any thoughts of us bugging out into the woods would not go as smoothly as I hope, even if I thought that was a good idea. The amount of gear they can handle, the intensity of work they might be asked to do and their general morale needs have to be considered in a disaster or else you could have meltdowns when you are already stressed to the breaking point. If you are planning to survive, you have to plan for everyone’s needs and their limitations as well. This will further help you know what you need to focus on and what should get priority.

What skills do you have to survive?

Thinking about your disaster that you are planning for, visualize what life will be like in the immediate aftermath. What situations can you see happening to your family that you would be relied upon to deal with since you are the one who was ‘into prepping’ in the first place. Could you offer basic first aid? Do you know how to properly use the firearms you want to purchase? Do you already have a garden for those heirloom seeds? Do you know how to address sanitation issues and keep your family healthy so that an easily preventable bug doesn’t kill them?

In our society that has everything functioning, we stopped worrying about all the things we used to worry about. Clean (relatively) water comes out of the tap and washes our waste away never to be seen again. We have washers and driers to get our clothes clean and dishwashers to clean our dishes. Warm showers keep us clean and if we get injured we have ambulances and hospitals. What if you take all of that away?

Skills in living without the conveniences of life might trump knowing how to start a fire with a fire plough if you have plenty of lighters. You might need to figure out how to take care of everyone’s bathroom needs sooner than you think so don’t assume you need to be a ninja medic and that’s it. Survival isn’t always Rambo running through the woods of Washington state making booby traps. Survival is the small but important things too and knowing how to deal with number 2 might be more practical to know than how to make a booby trap.

How long?

Lastly, once I have all the supplies listed that I think I need, start adding time to the duration. Are you planning for a power outage that lasts 3 days? What if it lasted 3 weeks? We have had that before with winter storms so it is certainly possible. That global pandemic? What if you had to stay in your home for 6 months? How would that affect your supplies?

You can start off small and cover the basics and build as you go. As you build out your supplies, you should be able to weather longer durations of the disaster. How long do you plan for? That is really up to you and your resources. FEMA recommends being able to live in your home for 3 days. I think a wiser goal that should account for 98% of all events would be more like 6 months. Do your supplies allow you to do this?

Hopefully this helps any of you who are trying to formulate a disaster plan. If you have any questions or suggestions please let me know in the comment below and good luck!

The post Before you Start Prepping – What Are You Prepping For? appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

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How to Start Preppinghttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/12/how-to-start-prepping/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/12/how-to-start-prepping/#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 14:42:26 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=10799 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

I believe that each of us has an inner voice. Call it what you will; instinct, hunch, feeling, foresight, or intuition they are all the same. It is a compelling force within us that we feel on an almost imperceptible level when you are quiet and your mind starts to ponder things you normally don’t […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

I believe that each of us has an inner voice. Call it what you will; instinct, hunch, feeling, foresight, or intuition they are all the same. It is a compelling force within us that we feel on an almost imperceptible level when you are quiet and your mind starts to ponder things you normally don’t give a second thought. This inner voice or instinct might be ignored or blamed away on bad tacos but for me and a lot of other people out there, our inner voice is telling us that we need to start getting prepared.

For me, my inner voice or ‘gut feeling’ as I typically call it started acting up around 2007. I don’t know why exactly and I haven’t over analyzed it to be honest. For me, I simply started feeling like I needed to take steps to prepare my family. There wasn’t a specific event I was worried about, just a general feeling, perhaps brought on by some realization of how fragile our society is. It was around this time that I really began to research how to start prepping and the journey I started back in 2007 continues to this day.

If you are new to prepping, you must have millions of questions. I know I did and in the beginning I scoured the internet for prepping websites, survival books and information from a wide array of sources that led me to a lot of insights and some great recommendations. I try to share what I have learned on the Prepper Journal every day but even for me, there is no finish line. I am still working on prepping just like millions of other people. Today I want to share some advice for the person who is beginning their own journey and has questions on how to start prepping.

Do you know why you want to start prepping?

Prepping is a word that has only fairly recently become known around the world and it is usually associated with a negative connotation. TV shows like Doomsday Preppers and Doomsday Castle have both helped and hurt the idea of prepping in various degrees but I believe overall most people see the benefits of Prepping and can separate the bizarre actions of some from the common sense process of prepping itself. Prepping to me is simply taking steps to prepare yourself and your family to better weather disasters. Why do we need to do anything in the first place? Isn’t that what the police and the fire department and government are for?

If you are here on this website, I am sure the answer to that question is obvious. If you have paid any attention to the events of just the last few years there are numerous examples of disasters that caught people off guard where neither the police, nor the National Guard, nor FEMA were able to help in a way that was fast and effective enough to save everyone or to end suffering. The cold hard truth is that in a disaster situation, you are better off relying on yourself than anyone else. Police can become overwhelmed, bureaucracies always have more important things to worry about and the needs of the individual (you) are not first on the priority list. In short, when something bad happens, you need a plan to deal with events if help doesn’t arrive. Relying on anyone in a professional capacity to save you is foolish and it can get you killed. You know that its time for you to get started prepping.

Start with the basics of getting prepared

There are many types of disasters that can strike. You only have to look at the news to see earthquakes, fires, riots, mudslides, hurricanes, wars, drought and the list goes on and on. Some people want to prepare for a specific event like a tornado and at first that may seem like the most logical place to start, but what if you are prepared for a tornado and a flood comes instead? What if you are worried about a forest fire, but there is an earthquake? What if you are all set for a hurricane, but an EMP wipes out the electric grid?

There are things you can do to prepare for any event and I recommend you start with these 4 basic necessities. These 4 things are needed for life no matter what happens and if you take care of the four essentials, you will be ahead of 98% of the population.

Food – It’s very simple to know what you need. You need to store as much food as your family needs to eat for the duration of any disaster. Ideally, this would be food that doesn’t require refrigeration like canned or dehydrated food. If your budget allows you to purchase freeze-dried food, this is the simplest option and you can easily store several months’ worth of food under your bed in nice plastic containers. Even though it is the easiest, it isn’t the cheapest and a wiser strategy is to slowly just buy more of what your family already eats. This way, with a good rotation system you always have an abundance of fresh food your family likes. The freeze dried food is pretty decent, but nothing like fresh food.

Water – Another easy one. Water is necessary for life and you need a gallon per day for each family member. If you have 4 people in your house you would need 120 gallons of water to last a month. Ideally you would back this up with a good filtration system like a Big Berkey water filter. Don’t believe you need that much water? Just look at the residents of Charleston WV a few months back or more recently Toledo who were told not to drink their water for weeks. Could you wait that out? Store water now while you have it and it’s plentiful.

Shelter – This is simply a way to keep out of the elements. If you have a home and it isn’t blown away you have shelter, but what if the power is off in the summer or the heat is out in the winter. Make sure you have plans to keep warm and cool. Sleeping bags work great in the winter, but summer there are fewer options. Unless you want to build your own swamp cooler.

Security – Disasters bring out the worst in people, but it doesn’t take a disaster to bring violence to your town. Just recently riots broke out over the shooting death of a teen. Riots break out all the time over sports games. Imagine if the power is out and the grocery store shelves are bare and people are hungry. Make sure you have a way to protect your family from people who either want what you have or simply want to burn and destroy things. I recommend legal firearms for responsible adults.

Research additional topics

What is your learning style? I guess more accurately, what can you use for motivation or ideas? I have been able to pull ideas out of a lot of different places. In the beginning as I was learning how to start prepping, I frequented numerous prepping websites and we have a great list of prepper sites on our resources page. Another great resource is Prepper Website who is almost a Drudge Report of prepping and survival topics. Survival Blog was another site that taught me a lot and led me to other sites where I learned a lot of prepping skills in the beginning.

I also bought books. The two main flavors for me were prepper fiction from the likes of James Wesley Rawles, Joe Nobody and A.American. The stories of survivors living in a SHTF world gave me ideas and away to visualize how I might act in certain situations. Then there were survival skill books from Cody Lundin and Richard Duarte and John Lofty Wiseman. There were also resource books that I purchased because I wanted to have something in case my computer wasn’t working, the internet was down or something worse prevented me from accessing online data anymore. I compiled a list of the 32 must have prepper books that will give you a good place to start looking for inspiration or skills you might need if the world goes sideways on us.

Movies are another source of ideas and inspiration although you do have to have a certain tolerance or affection for end of the world movies. I love them but my wife isn’t a big fan so I have to judiciously watch these. If you are looking for a good prepper movie, you can try the Best Prepper movie list and see if you can find something you haven’t seen before. I have even found movies do a better job of convincing people to prepare in some cases than all the factual arguments you can muster.

What Next?

Once you have the basics under control, there are tons of other areas where you can specialize for lack of a better word. The pages of the Prepper Journal are filled with information around various threats, methods and strategies and all the pages are searchable and downloadable.  You can learn about how to pack your bug out bags, vehicle survival kits and even prepper gear reviews. If you have any questions, just comment in the articles and I am sure someone will help you out with ideas and share their experience. Good luck on your journey and keep listening to that inner voice.

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Advanced Disaster Planninghttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/11/advanced-disaster-planning/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/11/advanced-disaster-planning/#comments Mon, 11 Aug 2014 16:11:55 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=10786 Written by Richard Bryant on The Prepper Journal.

If I had to name only one quality that separates the advanced prepper/survivalist from the pack it would be the presence of a solid disaster plan. When I refer to “planning”, I don’t mean having a plan “in mind”, and I don’t mean having a file on a computer somewhere – I’m referring to a […]

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Written by Richard Bryant on The Prepper Journal.

If I had to name only one quality that separates the advanced prepper/survivalist from the pack it would be the presence of a solid disaster plan. When I refer to “planning”, I don’t mean having a plan “in mind”, and I don’t mean having a file on a computer somewhere – I’m referring to a physical document that has been printed and distributed to all relevant locations and individuals.   Human memory is far too fallible and too specific to a single individual, to serve as the storage medium for a serious disaster plan; and of course computers are relatively fragile and subject to the availability of an electrical grid that may not be available post-disaster.

Consider a disaster plan to be a force-multiplier for all your other preps. If your plan results in a greater crop yield then you have multiplied the effectiveness of the seed you have stored. If your plan allows you to address a security incident with less use of ammunition, then you have multiplied the effectiveness of your ammunition stores. As you might imagine, a good plan should touch on all aspects of preparedness.

When it comes to disaster preparedness it is more the exception than the norm that the new or intermediate prepper will take action without first developing a comprehensive and coherent plan. In fact, I’m probably more guilty than most when it comes to “prepping without planning”. It was only while authoring my book that I came to fully appreciate the importance of planning, and my folly in not having planned much better in advance (Had I planned first I can guarantee you that I would now have fewer survival knives and more buckets of beans and rice!). While you may have some serious supplies and equipment stored away and ready for disaster, if you don’t have a plan then you still have significant room for improvement.

Side-note: My first step in researching the topic of disaster planning was to perform some online searches to learn what was already available that could serve as inspiration for my own writing. I was stunned to discover how very little good information was available on the topic. The only real material I could find were stylishly-designed, lightweight, one-page checklists published by various governmental “alphabet agencies”. All of these plans assumed a very short duration emergency during which government played a major role in recovery. (In other words, these plans described a fantasy world that does not exist!) This discovery only reinforced my sense of urgency in giving this important topic the coverage I had come to realize was sorely lacking and much needed.

 

Do you have a plan?

Do you have a plan?

During times of crisis one can imagine that there will be plenty of nervous energy available that can be put to good use in executing a disaster plan, however it is just as easy to imagine that the same nervous energy would make it very difficult to develop any sort of meaningful plan. Do not wait until disaster strikes to plan, as it may very well be impossible at that point.

With planning, as with skinning cats, there are any number of valid approaches. In this article I’ll describe the approach to planning that I formulated myself as I authored “When There is No FEMA“. The foundation of my approach to disaster planning that I develop consists of:

  • Designating the chain of command at each covered location and the criteria for the transfer of that authority from one individual to the next.
  • Defining “alert levels” and the criteria for each level. These alert levels will be referenced in your plan to allow the actions you take to vary with the severity of the disaster.
  • Defining “security postures” for each alert level.

CHAIN OF COMMAND

“Chain of command” is a military concept that refers to the group’s organization structure and which group members are responsible for providing direction to others. Typically the individuals occupying these positions of authority will be assigned either by simple mutual agreement among group members, or possibly by vote. Having a defined chain of command is essential not only to provide quick resolution of disagreements, but also to enable the group to act quickly and decisively when faced with a threat. If for some reason the individual at the top of the chain of command becomes unavailable or incapacitated then that leadership role should automatically be delegated to the person next in line in the chain of command.

 

Side-note: I am firmly convinced that many people in my own daily life who, if I shouted “Duck!” to them on observing that they were under immediate threat, would react but by asking me why I wanted them to duck, or perhaps by questioning my right to tell them to duck. During times of disaster everyone needs to be explicitly pre-conditioned to follow orders first and to ask questions only after the threat has passed.

 

ALERT LEVELS

The incorporation of alert levels is one of the key factors that differentiate a simple disaster plan from an advanced plan. The alert levels reflect different degrees of disaster severity. One reasonable way to define levels is to base them on the expected post-disaster recovery period. The following are examples of typical alert levels:

  • Level 0 – No alert, all is normal.
  • Level 1 – Maintain heightened awareness
  • Level 2 – Normal life significantly impacted for less than one week
  • Level 3 – Normal life significantly impacted for 1-2 weeks
  • Level 4 – Normal life significantly impacted for 2-4 weeks
  • Level 5 – Normal life significantly impacted for 4-8 weeks
  • Level 6 – Normal life significantly impacted for more than 8 weeks

 

SECURITY POSTURES

The concept of “security posture” is another useful principle that has military origins, and refers to the tasks and responsibilities assigned to individuals within the group based on the alert level. So, for each alert level a security posture should be defined. The definition of security postures is as important in helping to avoid over-vigilance as it is in assuring quick detection of and response to threats. The security posture defined for a Level 0 alert level, for example, may be a simple statement that all group members are adhering to established schedules and performing tasks as routinely assigned through the chain of command. The security postures for higher alert levels, however, may specify that certain individuals move to certain pre-defined observation and/or protective locations with weapons ready for use. Orders through the chain of command can still, of course, override the requirements of the security posture.

CONTENT AND ORGANIZATION OF AN ADVANCED PLAN

At the highest level disaster planning should consist of a general disaster plan (“GDP”), along with a site plan (“SP”) for each covered location. Of course if your plan is to only cover a single location then these two sub-plans can be merged into a single document. The GDP provides information that is common to all locations, while each SP provides location-specific information. If, for example, you had family members that were living out of town (e.g. sons or daughters in college) then your plan would include SP’s for their locations in addition to the home, as well as a GDP. A good GDP should include:

 

  • Identification of all alert levels and the criteria for each level.
  • Identification of the chain of command at each location where more than a single individual resides.
  • A list of guidelines for travel between locations
  • A list of guidelines for communications (radio frequencies, code words, etc.)
  • A list of contacts at all locations, along with addresses, phone numbers and other relevant information.
  • A list of basic emergency supplies that should be kept on-hand at all locations.
  • Travel maps with recommended routes between all locations marked, and key resources (refueling locations, lodging, etc.) marked, along with relevant contact information.

 

The SP for each location should cover the following topics:

  • Required site inventory = this should consist of a list of all equipment and supplies, over and above those identified in the GDP, that should be stored on site at all times.
  • Procurement Planning – specifies additional equipment and supplies that may be gathered (time permitting) in the time immediately preceding the disaster.
  • Storage, Caching and Transportation – identities where equipment and supplies are stored, how they may be concealed, and how it would be transported during evacuation.
  • Defense – identification of battle stations, vulnerabilities (e.g. “blind spots”) and measures to deal with vulnerabilities (e.g. booby traps and alerting mechanisms). It also should define rules of engagement for various defensive scenarios
  • Fuel and Energy – how and when to make use of fuel, generators and energy-consuming devices.
  • Food and Water – covers the acquisition, storage and rationing of food and water.
  • Sanitation – lists policies and procedures governing basic sanitation (including quarantining anyone coming into the group or community).
  • Post-Disaster Activity Schedule – a definition of regularly-scheduled routines (chores, meetings, watch duty, etc.).
  • Medical – a plan for dealing with medical needs that may arise.
  • Commerce – a plan for participating in a post-disaster economy (identifies items and/or skills that can traded or used for barter).
  • Evacuation – identification of criteria for evacuation, bugout procedures and destinations and routes to travel.

 

The coverage of each of these topics in the SP is important; however some of these topics may not more than a few sentences in the plan. For example the sanitation plan might consist of a simple bulletized list of rules that govern sanitation (when to wash hands, sprinkling lime powder over human waste, distance of latrines from living areas, etc.). It would be prudent to assign these topics as areas of responsibility to members of your survival group or community, and to have those group members lead a discussion of their topics during scheduled group meetings.

PROCUREMENT PLANNING

Of the planning topics identified above, special attention should be paid to procurement. While many preppers will assert that you should put away all the supplies that you may conceivably need well before disaster strikes, real world constraints often simply do not permit this. Under the right circumstances, however, you may very well decide to re-prioritize your preps, and because the window of opportunity to do so may be very brief it is essential that this procurement process be planned in advance. The procurement plan could break down into the following distinct steps:

  • Pre-procurement: A list of tasks to perform immediately before beginning procurement (e.g. filling gas tanks of all vehicles that may be used, or calling ahead to have items waiting at a checkout counter).
  • Procurement – a list of “shopping trips”, with each procurement location identified along with lists of items to obtain from each location. The locations should be listed in the order they should be visited for most efficient travel. The items for each location should be listed by store row such that they can be most quickly gathered. These items may be associated with alert levels such that they are only procured at certain alert levels (e.g. you may wish to obtain additional ammunition if the disaster is expected to extend some re-defined time period).
  • Post-procurement: Unloading, storing and/or assembling items that have been procured (if you obtained the parts for a home alarm system, you might install the additional alarms during this step).

 

DEFENSE PLANNING

Even in today’s pre-disaster world there are increasingly common stories of “home invasions”. Stories of looting in the wake of even relatively small disasters are all-too-common. It is a certainty that in the aftermath of a major disaster that all preppers must be ready to defend themselves and their property. A good defense plan should consider avoidance, deterrence, detection and response. Avoidance might consist of simply keeping a low profile so that potential threats pass by without engagement. Deterrence might include posting signs around the property that could convince some threats that the risk they take in attacking will not be worth any benefit they can gain. Detection might include establishing watch posts and means of communications between locations as well as alerting systems and booby traps. Response would include a list of policies governing how and when force is to be used to repel attackers, as well as how and when an orderly retreat should be conducted.

The defense plan for a location should cover:

  • Definition of security postures for different alert levels
  • Means of alerting the community to changes in alert levels
  • Areas of approach (the paths to be most likely taken by an adversary)
  • Lookout positions
  • “Blind spots” from which an approaching adversary ay not be directly observed
  • Identification (and creation) of hard and soft cover
  • Communications during defensive operations
  • Defining rules of engagement

 

EVACUATION (“BUGOUT”) PLANNING

The process of evacuating (“bugging out”) to another location during a time of crises is one of the most important aspects of disaster planning. In the absence of a plan valuable time will be needlessly consumed in determining what supplies should be taken.   Additionally, the likelihood of leaving behind critical items increases greatly when evacuation does not take place in accordance with a pre-defined plan.

Because each location has its own equipment inventory and bug-out considerations a separate evacuation plan should be developed as part of the SP for each location. Evacuation planning should cover:

  • A list of equipment and supplies to be taken
  • A map marked with recommended travel routes and roadside resources
  • A pre-departure checklist
  • A list of best practices for travel during disaster
  • Guidelines for communication while traveling (radio channels, reporting times, code words to use, identification of radio channels to monitor, etc.)

 

SUMMARY:

While your disaster plan may not be a “polished document”, even a good rough draft that is printed and distributed can make a world of difference. By causing you to consider all aspects of preparedness in advance and how to make best use of resources, a good disaster plan can greatly increase the effectiveness of your prepping investments and can easily make the difference between life and death.

 

About the Author: Richard Bryant is author of the preparedness book “When There is No FEMA – Survival for Normal People in (Very) Abnormal Times” and a long-time preparedness group organizer in Central Florida. He has recently relocated permanently to his disaster retreat in rural West Tennessee. The first 60 pages of his book are available for review and download at http://www.nofema.com.

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There’s Nothing More Dangerous than an Unstoppable, Well-Armored Shooterhttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/09/body-armor/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/09/body-armor/#comments Sat, 09 Aug 2014 17:29:45 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=10773 Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

This week Rep. Mike Honda, D-San Jose announced legislation that would block civilians from purchasing “military-grade” body armor. Blocking this access will keep people safer he says and will prevent criminals from using this armor in battles with law enforcement. Honda said. “It would ensure that only law enforcement, firefighters and other first responders would […]

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

This week Rep. Mike Honda, D-San Jose announced legislation that would block civilians from purchasing “military-grade” body armor. Blocking this access will keep people safer he says and will prevent criminals from using this armor in battles with law enforcement.

Honda said. “It would ensure that only law enforcement, firefighters and other first responders would be able to access enhanced body armor.”

“We’re not talking about just a standard bullet-proof vest,” he said. “We’re talking about body armor that is designed for warfare, designed to protect against law enforcement ammunitions.”

Honda said shootings by armored assailants are becoming a trend in recent years and said that according to experts, “access to military-grade body armor emboldens criminals and mass shooters to act.”

 

Should law enforcement have better gear than civilians?

The question of whether or not our law enforcement officials should be able to purchase more lethal gear than civilians is one that has been debated on the prepper journal before but it bears revisiting. At the core of the issue is the assumption that if someone is wearing a badge, they deserve to be able to kill you more easily or quickly than you can kill them. Is that right? Police officers already have bullet proof vests, guns and the authority to shoot to kill if the situation warrants it. This is another attempt to disarm citizens and make you less able to defend or protect yourself from aggression. It doesn’t matter if this aggression is coming from a criminal or a law enforcement officer; you still have the right to try and protect your life.

But what about the crazy killers you say? They don’t need any help shooting people and we should do anything we can to make sure police can take a lone nut out as quickly as possible, right? This doesn’t have anything to do with reducing the amount of wackos out there and no law created has ever stopped a criminal from breaking the law. Laws do not stop someone who is crazy from being crazy. You can make guns illegal, but criminals still have them. Take away every “dangerous” weapon in the world and someone can still bash your brains in with a rock.

Laws that reduce the ability for law abiding people to defend themselves never affect the criminals; they only hurt the people who obey the laws.

Why is this stupid?

Rep Honda goes on to state:

“There’s nothing more dangerous than an unstoppable, well-armored shooter,” he said. “The law enforcement community sees an increase in use of body armor in violent, gun-related crimes.”

The congressman cited a shooting on July 22 in Riverside County, where a man wearing body armor and armed with an assault rifle shot and killed two sheriff’s deputies and wounded another.

“We should be asking ourselves, why is this armor available to just anyone, if it was designed to be used only by our solders to take to war?” Honda said.

If you are a police officer, I commend you choosing the profession you have. It is an honorable goal to serve and protect the citizens in your local area. However, your safety doesn’t trump my safety. If you get to roll around wearing bulletproof armor, I should too if I want. Just because you have a job to enforce the laws that doesn’t mean I lose my rights in order to keep you safer. If you are too scared to perform your job because of all the bad guys with guns and bulletproof vests, find a new line of work. If a criminal decides they want to shoot you, your bullet proof vest should save you, provided you get shot in the vest. If you shoot me, my bulletproof vest will do the same.

I have my own Body Armor from Infidel.

I have my own Body Armor from Infidel.

There is only one reason to disarm people or take away their ability to defend themselves and that is to manage them more easily – make them less likely to challenge your authority. We as a country have more laws now under the guise of preventing violence than any time in our history and yet no one is any safer than at any other time in history. In fact, the areas with the strictest gun laws have the most violent crime. Look at the city of Chicago for instance where it is almost impossible to have a gun there but still there have already been 226 murders so far this year.

And it isn’t only the criminals we have to worry about; it is the police officers themselves. There are new cases of police abuse daily it seems with police officers choking people to death, body slamming women for crossing the street, or beating the crap out of an older woman walking down the freeway. Who is in more dangerous here? I wrote not too long ago and posed the question ‘Would society be better off without police?’ because there are so many incidents of police violence that it seems the motto that used to be ‘serve and protect’ should more accurately be ‘dominate and destroy’. Now they want to do something else to make themselves more powerful than citizens. You have to ask why.

The solution to any problem dealing with criminals needs to focus on the criminal, not honest people. By infringing upon our right to self-defense you make us an easier target for criminal activity. You do not ensure your safety, you remove ours.

I have a bulletproof vest from Infidel Body Armor. Will that make me bulletproof and unstoppable? Hardly, but it will keep me safer when bullets start flying regardless of who is doing the shooting. I think the Representative needs to look at the total number of incidents where police have been the aggressors. When police who really are “dangerous”, “well-armed shooters” are running around abusing their power, we have bigger problems as a society. Just recently two married police officers shot and killed their daughter’s boyfriend in cold blood. You talk about ‘There’s nothing more dangerous than an unstoppable, well-armored shooter.’ and I say that describes police officers pretty accurately.

I am starting to wonder who the real criminals are.

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Keeping Food Safe During an Emergencyhttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/07/refrigerated-food-power-outages-save-throw/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/07/refrigerated-food-power-outages-save-throw/#comments Thu, 07 Aug 2014 23:47:33 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=8116 Written by P. Henry on The Prepper Journal.

This article was taken from Keeping Food Safe During an Emergency (USDA). It offers some guidelines for keeping yourself safe when it comes to food in an emergency. Food can become contaminated and disasters can introduce bacteria and organisms that will make you sick. Its wise to make sure any practices you follow with respect […]

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Written by P. Henry on The Prepper Journal.

This article was taken from Keeping Food Safe During an Emergency (USDA). It offers some guidelines for keeping yourself safe when it comes to food in an emergency. Food can become contaminated and disasters can introduce bacteria and organisms that will make you sick. Its wise to make sure any practices you follow with respect to preparing and storing food don’t jeopardize your health. The article also covers when food goes bad after it has been kept out of refrigeration. Some of you may disagree with the specific recommendations on certain items but overall its good information.

Did you know that a flood, fire, national disaster, or the loss of power from high winds, snow, or ice could jeopardize the safety of your food? Knowing how to determine if food is safe and how to keep food safe will help minimize the potential loss of food and reduce the risk of food-borne illness. This fact sheet will help you make the right decisions for keeping your family safe during an emergency.

ABCD’s of Keeping Food Safe in an Emergency


Always keep meat, poultry, fish, and eggs refrigerated at or below 40 °F and frozen food at or below 0 °F. This may be difficult when the power is out.

Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain the cold temperature. The refrigerator will keep food safely cold for about 4 hours if it is unopened. A full freezer will hold the temperature for approximately 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) if the door remains closed. Obtain dry or block ice to keep your refrigerator as cold as possible if the power is going to be out for a prolonged period of time. Fifty pounds of dry ice should hold an 18-cubic foot full freezer for 2 days. Plan ahead and know where dry ice and block ice can be purchased.

Be prepared for an emergency…


… by having items on hand that don’t require refrigeration and can be eaten cold or heated on the outdoor grill. Shelf-stable food, boxed or canned milk, water, and canned goods should be part of a planned emergency food supply. Make sure you have ready-to-use baby formula for infants and pet food. Remember to use these items and replace them from time to time. Be sure to keep a hand-held can opener for an emergency.

Consider what you can do ahead of time to store your food safely in an emergency. If you live in a location that could be affected by a flood, plan your food storage on shelves that will be safely out of the way of contaminated water. Coolers are a great help for keeping food cold if the power will be out for more than 4 hours—have a couple on hand along with frozen gel packs. When your freezer is not full, keep items close together—this helps the food stay cold longer.

Digital, dial, or instant-read food thermometers and appliance thermometers will help you know if the food is at safe temperatures. Keep appliance thermometers in the refrigerator and freezer at all times. When the power is out, an appliance thermometer will always indicate the temperature in the refrigerator and freezer no matter how long the power has been out. The refrigerator temperature should be 40 °F or below; the freezer, 0 °F or lower. If you’re not sure a particular food is cold enough, take its temperature with a food thermometer.

Frequently Asked Questions:

 

Q.Flood waters covered our food stored on shelves and in cabinets. What can I keep and what should I throw out?
A.Do not eat any food that may have come into contact with flood water.

  • Discard any food that is not in a waterproof container if there is any chance that it has come into contact with flood water. Food containers that are not waterproof include those with screw-caps, snap lids, pull tops, and crimped caps. Also, discard cardboard juice/milk/baby formula boxes and home canned foods if they have come in contact with flood water, because they cannot be effectively cleaned and sanitized.
  • Inspect canned foods and discard any food in damaged cans. Can damage is shown by swelling, leakage, punctures, holes, fractures, extensive deep rusting, or crushing/denting severe enough to prevent normal stacking or opening with a manual, wheel-type can opener.


Steps to Salvage All-Metal Cans and Retort Pouches
Undamaged, commercially prepared foods in all-metal cans and retort pouches (for example, flexible, shelf-stable juice or seafood pouches) can be saved if you do the following:

  • Remove the labels, if they are the removable kind, since they can harbor dirt and bacteria.
  • Thoroughly wash the cans or retort pouches with soap and water, using hot water if it is available.
  • Brush or wipe away any dirt or silt.
  • Rinse the cans or retort pouches with water that is safe for drinking, if available, since dirt or residual soap will reduce the effectiveness of chlorine sanitation.
  • Then, sanitize them by immersion in one of the two following ways:
    • Place in water and allow the water to come to a boil and continue boiling for 2 minutes, or
    • Place in a freshly made solution consisting of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of drinking water (or the cleanest, clearest water available) for 15 minutes.
  • Air-dry cans or retort pouches for a minimum of 1 hour before opening or storing.
  • If the labels were removable, then re-label your cans or retort pouches, including the expiration date (if available), with a marker.
  • Food in reconditioned cans or retort pouches should be used as soon as possible, thereafter.
  • Any concentrated baby formula in reconditioned, all-metal containers must be diluted with clean, drinking water.
Q.How should I clean my pots, pans, dishes, and utensils?
A.Thoroughly wash metal pans, ceramic dishes, and utensils (including can openers) with soap and water, using hot water if available. Rinse and then sanitize them by boiling in clean water or immersing them for 15 minutes in a solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of drinking water (or the cleanest, clearest water available).
Q.How should I clean my countertops?
A.Thoroughly wash counter-tops with soap and water, using hot water if available. Rinse and then sanitize them by applying a solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of drinking water (or the cleanest, clearest water available). Allow to air-dry.
Q. My home was flooded and I am worried about the safety of the drinking water. What should I do?
A.Use bottled water that has not been exposed to flood waters if it is available.

  • If you don’t have bottled water, you should boil water to make sure it is safe. Boiling water will kill most types of disease-causing organisms that may be present. If the water is cloudy, filter it through clean cloths or allow it to settle, and draw off the clear water for boiling. Boil the water for one minute, let it cool, and store it in clean containers with covers.
  • If you can’t boil water, you can disinfect it using household bleach. Bleach will kill some, but not all, types of disease-causing organisms that may be in the water. If the water is cloudy, filter it through clean cloths or allow it to settle, and draw off the clear water for disinfection. Add 1/8 teaspoon (or 8 drops) of regular, unscented, liquid household bleach for each gallon of water, stir it well and let it stand for 30 minutes before you use it. Store disinfected water in clean containers with covers.
  • If you have a well that had been flooded, the water should be tested and disinfected after flood waters recede. If you suspect that your well may be contaminated, contact your local or state health department or agriculture extension agent for specific advice.
Q.We had a fire in our home and I am worried about what food I can keep and what to throw away.
A.Discard food that has been near a fire. Food exposed to fire can be damaged by the heat of the fire, smoke fumes, and chemicals used to fight the fire. Food in cans or jars may appear to be okay, but the heat from a fire can activate food spoilage bacteria. If the heat is extreme, the cans or jars themselves can split or rupture, rendering the food unsafe.

One of the most dangerous elements of a fire is sometimes not the fire itself, but toxic fumes released from burning materials. Discard any raw food or food in permeable packaging—cardboard, plastic wrap, screw-topped jars, bottles, etc.—stored outside the refrigerator. Food stored in refrigerators or freezers can also become contaminated by fumes. The refrigerator seal isn’t airtight and fumes can get inside. Chemicals used to fight the fire contain toxic materials and can contaminate food and cookware. Food that is exposed to chemicals should be thrown away—the chemicals cannot be washed off the food. This includes food stored at room temperature, such as fruits and vegetables, as well as food stored in permeable containers like cardboard and screw-topped jars and bottles. Cookware exposed to fire-fighting chemicals can be decontaminated by washing in soap and hot water. Then submerge for 15 minutes in a solution of 1 tablespoon unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of water.
Q.A snowstorm knocked down the power lines, can I put the food from the refrigerator and freezer out in the snow?
A.No, frozen food can thaw if it is exposed to the sun’s rays even when the temperature is very cold. Refrigerated food may become too warm and food-borne bacteria could grow. The outside temperature could vary hour by hour and the temperature outside will not protect refrigerated and frozen food. Additionally, perishable items could be exposed to unsanitary conditions or to animals. Animals may harbor bacteria or disease; never consume food that has come in contact with an animal. Rather than putting the food outside, consider taking advantage of the cold temperatures by making ice. Fill buckets, empty milk cartons or cans with water and leave them outside to freeze. Then put the homemade ice in your refrigerator, freezer, or coolers.
Q.Some of my food in the freezer started to thaw or had thawed when the power came back on. Is the food safe? How long will the food in the refrigerator be safe with the power off?
A.Never taste food to determine its safety! You will have to evaluate each item separately. If an appliance thermometer was kept in the freezer, read the temperature when the power comes back on. If the appliance thermometer stored in the freezer reads 40 °F or below, the food is safe and may be refrozen. If a thermometer has not been kept in the freezer, check each package of food to determine the safety. Remember you can’t rely on appearance or odor. If the food still contains ice crystals or is 40 °F or below, it is safe to refreeze. Refrigerated food should be safe as long as power is out no more than 4 hours. Keep the door closed as much as possible. Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and leftovers) that have been above 40 °F for 2 hours.
Q.May I refreeze the food in the freezer if it thawed or partially thawed?
A.Yes, the food may be safely refrozen if the food still contains ice crystals or is at 40 °F or below. You will have to evaluate each item separately. Be sure to discard any items in either the freezer or the refrigerator that have come into contact with raw meat juices. Partial thawing and refreezing may reduce the quality of some food, but the food will remain safe to eat. See the attached charts for specific recommendations.

Refrigerator Foods

When to Save and When to Throw It Out
FOODHeld above 40 °F for over 2 hours
MEAT, POULTRY, SEAFOOD
Raw or leftover cooked meat, poultry, fish, or seafood; soy meat substitutes

Discard
Thawing meat or poultryDiscard
Meat, tuna, shrimp,chicken, or egg saladDiscard
Gravy, stuffing, brothDiscard
Lunchmeats, hot dogs, bacon, sausage, dried beefDiscard
Pizza,  with any toppingDiscard
Canned hams labeled “Keep Refrigerated”Discard
Canned meats and fish, openedDiscard
CHEESE
Soft Cheeses: blue/bleu, Roquefort, Brie, Camembert, cottage, cream, Edam, Monterey Jack, ricotta, mozzarella, Muenster, Neufchatel, queso blanco, queso fresco

Discard
Hard Cheeses: Cheddar, Colby, Swiss, Parmesan, provolone, RomanoSafe
Processed CheesesSafe
Shredded CheesesDiscard
Low-fat CheesesDiscard
Grated Parmesan, Romano, or combination (in can or jar)Safe
DAIRY
Milk, cream, sour cream, buttermilk, evaporated milk, yogurt, eggnog, soy milk

Discard
Butter, margarineSafe
Baby formula, openedDiscard
EGGS
Fresh eggs, hard-cooked in shell, egg dishes, egg products

Discard
Custards and puddingsDiscard
CASSEROLES, SOUPS, STEWSDiscard
FRUITS
Fresh fruits, cut

Discard
Fruit juices, openedSafe
Canned fruits, openedSafe
Fresh fruits, coconut, raisins, dried fruits, candied fruits, datesSafe
SAUCES, SPREADS, JAMS
Opened mayonnaise, tartar sauce, horseradish

Discard if above 50 °F for over 8 hrs.
Peanut butterSafe
Jelly, relish, taco sauce, mustard, catsup, olives, picklesSafe
Worcestershire, soy, barbecue, Hoisin saucesSafe
Fish sauces (oyster sauce)Discard
Opened vinegar-based dressingsSafe
Opened creamy-based dressingsDiscard
Spaghetti sauce, opened jarDiscard
BREAD, CAKES, COOKIES,PASTA, GRAINS
Bread, rolls, cakes, muffins, quick breads, tortillas

Safe
Refrigerator biscuits,rolls, cookie doughDiscard
Cooked pasta, rice, potatoesDiscard
Pasta salads with mayonnaise or vinaigretteDiscard
Fresh pastaDiscard
CheesecakeDiscard
Breakfast foods—waffles, pancakes, bagelsSafe
PIES, PASTRY
Pastries, cream filled

Discard
Pies—custard,cheese filled, or chiffon; quicheDiscard
Pies, fruitSafe
VEGETABLES
Fresh mushrooms, herbs, spices

Safe
Greens, pre-cut, pre-washed, packagedDiscard
Vegetables, rawSafe
Vegetables, cooked; tofuDiscard
Vegetable juice, openedDiscard
Baked potatoesDiscard
Commercial garlic in oilDiscard
Potato SaladDiscard

Frozen Food

When to Save and When To Throw It Out
FOODStill contains ice crystals and feels as cold as if refrigeratedThawed.
Held above 40 °F for over 2 hours
MEAT, POULTRY, SEAFOOD
Beef, veal, lamb, pork, and ground meats

Refreeze

Discard
Poultry and ground poultryRefreezeDiscard
Variety meats (liver, kidney, heart, chitterlings)RefreezeDiscard
Casseroles, stews, soupsRefreezeDiscard
Fish, shellfish, breaded seafood productsRefreeze. However, there will be some texture and flavor loss.Discard
DAIRY
Milk

Refreeze. May lose some texture.

Discard
Eggs (out of shell) and egg productsRefreezeDiscard
Ice cream, frozen yogurtDiscardDiscard
Cheese (soft and semi-soft)Refreeze. May lose some texture.Discard
Hard cheesesRefreezeRefreeze
Shredded cheesesRefreezeDiscard
Casseroles containing milk, cream, eggs, soft cheesesRefreezeDiscard
CheesecakeRefreezeDiscard
FRUITS
Juices

Refreeze

Refreeze. Discard if mold, yeasty smell, or sliminess develops.
Home or commercially packagedRefreeze. Will change texture and flavor.Refreeze. Discard if mold, yeasty smell, or sliminess develops.
VEGETABLES
Juices

Refreeze

Discard after held above 40 °F for 6 hours.
Home or commercially packaged or blanchedRefreeze. May suffer texture and flavor loss.Discard after held above 40 °F for 6 hours.
BREADS, PASTRIES
Breads, rolls, muffins, cakes (without custard fillings)

Refreeze

Refreeze
Cakes, pies, pastries with custard or cheese fillingRefreezeDiscard
Pie crusts, commercial and homemade bread doughRefreeze. Some quality loss may occur.Refreeze. Quality loss is considerable.
OTHER
Casseroles—pasta, rice based
RefreezeDiscard
Flour, cornmeal, nutsRefreezeRefreeze
Breakfast items—waffles, pancakes, bagelsRefreezeRefreeze
Frozen meal, entree, specialty items (pizza, sausage and biscuit, meat pie,convenience foods)RefreezeDiscard

 

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Prepping for the NOW – Why Debt is a Sin to a Prepperhttp://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/06/prepping-now-debt-sin-prepper/ http://www.theprepperjournal.com/2014/08/06/prepping-now-debt-sin-prepper/#comments Wed, 06 Aug 2014 22:00:06 +0000 http://www.theprepperjournal.com/?p=10703 Written by Frank McCourt on The Prepper Journal.

Preppers are oftentimes branded as nutcases. Television shows brand preppers as crazed doomsday theorists that live out in the hills and store guns and ammunition en masse, waiting for nuclear meltdown, an undead virus spreading throughout the world, or other zany movie-inspired irrational scenarios. But being a prepper is much more than sitting at the […]

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Written by Frank McCourt on The Prepper Journal.

Preppers are oftentimes branded as nutcases. Television shows brand preppers as crazed doomsday theorists that live out in the hills and store guns and ammunition en masse, waiting for nuclear meltdown, an undead virus spreading throughout the world, or other zany movie-inspired irrational scenarios. But being a prepper is much more than sitting at the top of a mall and firing round after round into the skulls of zombies, in fact it is much, much more. Prepping is about providing your own insurance for any and all of life’s many twists and turns. It’s about ensuring your livelihood is protected for the future. It is about independence, being self-reliant, and being able to hit the ground running regardless of circumstance. What can you do about this now? For one, deal with your finances and get out of debt.

Why debt is the enemy

Debt encourages people to spend money they don’t have. Saving money each month takes time and it is much easier to put purchases on a credit card. People often rationalize that, while they can’t make the payment on something large in one lump sum, splitting that amount up into smaller monthly payments is much more manageable. It’s when people make spending on credit habit and continue to do it regularly when SHTF.

Spending on credit is a slippery slope and eventually that type of mindset catches up with the individual, in the form of massive amounts of debt. You then become a slave to credit card companies and possibly, debt collectors. You end up paying them interest, money going straight from your pocket into theirs in exchange for delaying the complete repayment of a debt. Debt should be seen as the common enemy of all people. It is the friend of no one and only gets people in trouble. So perhaps you were able to purchase a new car you couldn’t normally afford by charging the purchase on a card or breaking it into monthly payments. Why not just buy a used car that provides the same utility as the new car at a small fraction of the cost? While this is unthinkable to many, the smarter financial decision is to purchase the used car and free up those dollars saved to go towards something else (such as paying back an outstanding debt?), additional food supplies, or other useful resources.

How to avoid debt?

Preppers should steer clear of any deals with strings attached. Debt is one of these. Getting into large amounts of debt places the figurative shackles upon the ankles of whoever owes that debt back. And debt follows you wherever you go. If you hide, debt collectors will find you. So avoid the problem before you have to deal with the pain of getting out of debt. I’m not saying don’t have a credit card, but do everything in your power to pay in cash. If you truly want a product, ensure you can pay for it up front. This will help you analyze your want and desire for a product before you purchase it. Will it break your bank account? If so, you may want to rethink how much you truly need it. And as preppers know, prepping does get expensive. Budget out how much you’re financially able to spend each month on prepping and stick to that budget. Do not overspend, if anything try to stay underspend and give yourself an emergency fund in case you get in a pinch. Here are some other tips to avoid debt:

  • Refrain from unnecessary, material goods

o   New cars are fun for a few euphoric weeks, but then you realize you paid $10,000 more than you could have being used

  • Stay home as opposed to going out

o   Invite neighbors and friends over for cards or board games. Instead of going to the bar where you’ll pay $10-15 for two drinks, grab some margarita mix or a 12-pack and enjoy the money saved

o   There are benefits to restaurants. But in the end, you can make a dish just as well at home with some practice. Taste is a temporary satisfier, and in the end no matter what food you eat, it all goes to the same sewage treatment plant.

  • Find a low-cost hobby.

o   Biking, running, ultimate Frisbee, golf, weightlifting, writing, reading. There are low-cost alternatives to spending money and just as enjoyable in the long run. My perspective is that if SHTF, I want to be physically fit. I run before work; it feels great, gets me charged for a day of work without needing to drink coffee, and is a fantastic form of exercise. All positives and without spending needless.

What to do with all my saved money, then?

What if you lose your job? What if the economy collapses again? Saving money is a way to prepare for these types of emergencies. This isn’t your typical “prepping” but it is prepping nonetheless. While I also have ample supplies of canned foods and fresh water available if things get really bad, preparing for a less-severe societal collapse is a worthwhile investment of effort. My definition of prepping is preparing for an event that puts my family and me in danger. This doesn’t have to be a nuclear attack from the North Koreans or an apocalyptic storm as a result of global warming. I am here to ensure that my family and I will endure, regardless of the times.

Are you ready?

 

Frank is continually working on being a self-sufficient human being. He finds himself spending his summer days outdoors, whether that means raising his own food in his organic garden or playing cards with friends and family. He is very much into grilling meals on his old-school charcoal grill and has since lifted his addiction to multiple television series. He feels freer than ever and is truly happy. He is prepared for the future and ready for whatever happens next.

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